John Hathorne Influences

Decent Essays
Nathaniel Hawthorne is known as the author of one of the single most perfect pieces to be found in American Literature. Hawthorne is also the great-great grandson of one of the three judges that were involved in the Salem Witch trials that were held in 1692 (Day, 1). Hawthorne was the author of many literary works including Fanshawe: A tale and “The Scarlet Letter” (Day, 1). Hawthorne received recognition from prominent authors such as Edgar Allen Poe. Hawthorne was joined in matrimony with Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne (Day, 1). Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” emphasizes on the strict disciplinary system of the puritans, which may be a result of his upbringing. “The Scarlet Letter” is set in a small Puritan colony in New England.…show more content…
Hawthorne’s great-great grandfather was known for executing the public whippings and stoning of four female Quakers whose only crime was infringing on Puritan turf. John Hathorne was brought up with rather strict, devout Puritan beliefs, he also became a magistrate judge in Boston, Massachusetts. Hathorne and Jonathon Corwin, another rather devout Puritan judge, began what is now known as the Salem Witch Trials. Hathorne and his team accused one-hundred-eighty-five people of performing acts of witchcraft in Salem, leading to the execution of fourteen women and five men (Hawthorne Power point). John Hawthorne’s son was named Joseph Hathorne, this man was Hawthorne’s grandfather. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born and raised in a land surrounded by many who were of predominantly Puritan heritage. For years to come, Hawthorne’s family was defined by what his grandfather had done as one of the judges responsible for the Salem Witch Trials, which caused Nathaniel Hawthorne to change his name from Hathorne to Hawthorne to distance himself from this reputation. Hawthorne eventually began practicing transcendental beliefs, such as those practiced by character of “The Scarlet Letter”, Hester Prynne. Hawthorne utilized character attributes and situations in his writing to portray his feelings about the Puritan…show more content…
Hester was also sentenced to standing on a scaffold with the child in front of everybody in the marketplace in the busiest part of town. The puritans believed that one of the best forms of punishment was public humiliation. Hawthorne grew up in a place and time when this was a popular form of punishment. In many cases of puritan punishment, public executions such as hangings, stoning, etcetera were used. In the Scarlet letter, Hester Prynne describes standing on the scaffold for several hours as unbearable. It was hot, everyone was staring at her, her newborn child, and her new scarlet red “A” that was to be embroidered on the bosom of everything that she would wear for the rest of her time in the
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