Ethan Brand: A Chapter from an Abortive Romance

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Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804—1864) American novelist and short-story writer


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Story by Hawthorne, published in The Snow-Image (1851).

Ethan Brand, formerly a lime-burner, has sought the Unpardonable Sin, and now returns to his New England home, announcing that he has found it in his own soul, in intellectual pride and in the separation of mind and heart. The townspeople do not understand him and consider him mad. He takes the place of his successor at the limekiln, and during the night lies down to perish in the furnace. When the other lime-burner returns in the morning, he finds the lime all burnt snow-white, and on its surface a human skeleton within whose ribs is a piece of marble in the shape of a heart.

Subjects: Literature.

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