The ambitious guest plot

How does the author use setting and character to develop situational irony in the ambitious guest

This family were situated in the Notch of the White Hills, where the wind was sharp throughout the year, and pitilessly cold in the winter,--giving their cottage all its fresh inclemency before it descended on the valley of the Saco. The mother and father laughed at something their oldest daughter had just said. Long ere the thunder of the great Slide had ceased to roar among the mountains, the mortal agony had been endured, and the victims were at peace. No other family lived near them on the mountain. He did not know what he wanted to do with his life, yet. Such irrelevant matter is usually called "padding," and its presence is a serious detriment to the success of any story, however clever in conception. The boy had hardly spoken when a wagon rattled along the road, and stopped a moment before the door. The young writer must learn early and learn once for all the absolute necessity for the exclusion of non-essentials. They had found the "herb, heart's-ease," in the bleakest spot of all New England.

This family were situated in the Notch of the White Hills, where the wind was sharp throughout the year, and pitilessly cold in the winter,--giving their cottage all its fresh inclemency before it descended on the valley of the Saco.

But while they spoke softly, and he was watching the happy sadness, the lightsome shadows, the shy yearnings of a maiden's nature, the wind through the Notch took a deeper and drearier sound.

The firelight fell on the little group around the fireplace: the father's strong arms and the mother's gentle smile.

The ambitious guest plot

They were the finest clothes she had made since her wedding dress. No scene, however cleverly done, must be allowed to monopolize the space of the story, except in so far as it is necessary to an understanding of what follows; and no incident which furthers the plot, however trivial or ordinary it may seem to you, must be slighted.

But this family was never lonely. The world is weary of the bald sermons of the Puritans, and of their endeavor to "point a tale" by every ordinary occurrence; it is rather inclined to a Pharisaical self-righteousness; and needs to have its sins, and the practical benefits of goodness, cunningly insinuated; but it can never fail to admire and strive to emulate the noble deeds of noble men, whether creatures of flesh or phantoms of the brain.

the ambitious guest moral lesson

Just before it reached the house, the stream broke into two branches--shivered not a window there, but overwhelmed the whole vicinity, blocked up the road, and annihilated everything in its dreadful course.

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The Ambitious Guest by Nathaniel Hawthorne