In his lecture delivered at The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site on September 8, 2000, Dr. Richard Millington also comments on the
continuing presence and effect of male ambition in many of Hawthorne's stories.
"Again and again, in nascent form in stories like ‘Wakefield’ and ‘Young Goodman Brown,’ in full flower in ‘The Minister's Black Veil,’ ‘The Birth-Mark,’
and ‘Rappaccini's Daughter,’ Hawthorne stages encounters between men and women. In these encounters, male characters--their underlying
anxiousness and aggression disguised as ambition or obsession--refuse the invitation to full, complex, and humane life offered by their female
counterparts. These acts of neurotic refusal punish--and even kill off--the women and yield to the male characters the utterly empty lives they
seem all along to seek." (used by permission of the author)