Ambitious Guest

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Footnotes represent notes that are answers to the questions linked.


Lines 1-10

  • Everyone is gathered around a fire in the center of the house
  • The environment is very comforting and warm1
  • They are surrounded by forest1
  • The house is located in a dangerous spot, right below a mountain that may cause falling rocks to “startle them at midnight”2 3
  • The area they are in the “Notch” is surrounded by “Maine” on one side and “Green Mountains” on another and “St. Lawrence” on another1
  • In the house, there is a father, mother, 17-year-old daughter, other children, and a grandmother4
  • A stranger enters
    • The young man is alone
    • He at first does not have an expression because of exhaustion, but when he sees the welcoming family, was warmed with kindness5
    • He states his appreciativeness of the fire and talks about his long trek to Burlington that he had to stop midway for

  1. What is the setting? Include areas, located nearby, that are mentioned in the story as well. ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  2. Describe the family’s home. Why is their residence considered to be unsafe? ↩︎

  3. List lines of foreshadowing that are provided throughout the story. ↩︎

  4. List the family members who reside in the house. Provide a brief description of how they treat ↩︎

  5. Use adjectives to depict the “ambitious guest” who comes to the inn. Include inferences. ↩︎