Essay On John Hathorne

878 Words4 Pages
Nathaniel Hawthorne was greatly influenced by his great- great grandfather, John Hathorne, to develop the novel The Scarlet Letter. John hathorne was involved in the persecution of several people in the Salem, Massachusetts (encyclopedia).
JOHN HATHORNE AND THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS In the year 1692, the Salem Witch Trials began and John Hathorne was chosen by Governor Sir William Phips to be a judge during the trials. Hathorne believed that Satan had the power to pressure people into harming the community and people around them. Hathorne’s beliefs were so strong that they overpowered him when the stepped foot into the courtroom. According to The Witches of Salem 1692, Hathorne was a “ high-handed, intimidating, and prosperous
…show more content…
Hathorne believed the girls, and Good was to be hanged on July 19, 1692 (Jobe; Ray, Benjamin).
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE AND PURITANISM Nathaniel Hawthorne was of Puritan descent, but he himself was not a Puritan. Hawthorne greatly despised his Puritan ancestors, particularly John Hathorne, for the way he treated many innocent people of the Salem Village. Nathaniel Hawthorne was truly ashamed of what his great- great grandfather, John Hathorne, had done to all those innocent people, so as a young adult, Nathaniel Hawthorne decided to change his last name from Hathorne to Hawthorne, hoping to distance himself from his cold- hearted ancestors.
THE SCARLET LETTER Nathaniel Hawthorne was inspired by John Hathorne to create the novel The Scarlet Letter. Throughout the novel, Hawthorne displayed some of the cruel punishments people in that society faced at the time, even though the crime was neither serious nor threatening to others. In The Scarlet Letter, the protagonist, Hester Prynne, is accused by Puritan minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, for commiting the sin of adultery. In a Puritan society, adultery is an unacceptable action and should receive punishment. In chapter two of the novel, a crowd of Puritan women wait outside the prison discussing Hester Prynne’s sin and expect the punishment to be quite grand. The punishment Hester had to suffer was to wear a scarlet letter “A” and stand on the scaffold in front of an unsympathetic crowd. While on the
Get Access