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).
Nathaniel Hawthorne was a writer in the 1800s, an anti-transcendentalist, and the great-nephew of John Hathorne, a judge in the Salem Witch Trials. Hawthorne is obsessed with Puritanism and, due to being obsessed, bases all his writings on Puritan towns. All of his stories take place in New England in the 1600s, before the Salem Witch Trials; The Scarlet Letter is one of these stories. In his novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the symbolism of the Wild Rosebush, Hester’s Cabin, and the sunlight and the forest to contribute to the overall theme of imperfection.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was a man who was both plagued and absorbed by the legacy of the Puritans in New England. He was related to John Hathorne, a Puritan judge during the infamous Salem Witch trials of 1692. In The Scarlet Letter, his fictional account of mid-17th century Boston presents an opportunity to examine different themes commonly associated with Puritans. Particularly the nature of sin, personal identity and the repression of natural urges are themes that appear repeatedly through the novel. While his account of this time period may not be completely historically accurate, it is indicative of the persistent thematic influence of Puritan culture on American and New England society.
The author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, is the nephew of John Hathorne. During the Salem Witch Trials, the only judge that did not apologize for the remorseless and cruel acts that were put upon many men and women was in fact John Hathorne. Nathaniel changed his last name from Hathorne to Hawthorne in an attempt to disassociate himself from his uncle. John Hathorne is the reason why Nathaniel Hawthorne is obsessed with the puritan times. Hawthorne lived in the 1800s, but the setting of the novel is based before the Salem Witch Trials were held in the 1600s. In his novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the symbolism of the scarlet letter, Dimmesdale, and burrs to contribute to the overall theme of guilt.
Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter in an era commonly referred to as “The Transcendentalist Movement” (“The Scarlet Letter”). “Transcendentalism a reaction against the rationalism of the previous century and the religious orthodoxy of Calvinist New England, it stressed the romantic tenets of mysticism, idealism, and individualism” (“The Scarlet Letter”). It sees God as an important part of a person and the world, God was not a “harsh distant figure” (“The Scarlet Letter”). Simultaneously, Puritan values and ideas also played a major role in shaping The Scarlet Letter. “The Puritans are all alike and, taking themselves for the standard, see all difference and variety as unnatural, bad” (Baym 53). That is, anything out of the norm, Puritans will instantaneously oppose it and disassociate themselves from it. “Because they are dedicated to forms, rules, laws, [and] structures, the Puritans have no tolerance for secrets: they take people as purely public beings, and they hate and fear anything
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne was written amidst the 1800’s. Hawthorne was a famous American author during that time frame. He is a relative to a judge from the Salem Witch Trials, which was his Great-Great Grandfather John Hathorne. Hathorne was the only judge who did not express atonement for his crimes, which led people to dislike all the Hathorne’s. This sparked Nathaniel Hawthorne's interest in the Puritan times, which resulted in the Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne delineates Puritan standards religiously and culturally in an outstanding way. He was also an Anti-Transcendentalist which means that he believed that all humans were evil. In his novel, the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the symbols of the scarlet letter, Reverend Dimmesdale, and burrs to add onto the overall theme of guilt.
Nathaniel Hawthorne is the author of the classic novel the Scarlet Letter based on the Puritan Era in Massachusetts. D.H Lawrence a British writer critiques the novel and gives his opinions on the piece in a persuasive argumentative manner. He believes that the heroine of the novel is not the beloved, marvelous character we all believe she is.He uses confident literary techniques like powerful tone, abrupt syntax and classic biblical allusions to convince people that the beloved character Hester Prynne is truly a conniving adulteress who thrives off of stealing one's purity.
The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne is based off a Puritan village during the 1640s. Hawthorne believes in the power of the individual and that society entices the individual to commit evil acts, this ideology is contradicting to Puritan beliefs. Hawthorne is a critic of the harsh Puritan punishments and public shame. Through Hester Prynne’s life, the author demonstrates how society attempted to fix sin at the expense of the individual. Hawthorne builds on the principles of Romanticism, with his main focus on the heart over logic and he moves away from traditional Puritanism and theocracy.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is often renowned as his best work. The novel tells about the rigid ideas of 19th century Puritan New England through the story of Hester Prynne, Minister Dimmesdale, and Pearl. Hawthorne points out that the Puritans are often more ready to judge, punish, and damn someone than to forgive them. He is very critical of this idea, and goes against it by ending the novel with Hester Prynne becoming a respected individual that other women often look to for advice, and by changing the perception many people have of the Scarlet Letter from, “Adultery” to “Able”. Throughout the novel Hawthorne refutes the harsh ideals of the Puritans through the
Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of the greatest American authors of the nineteenth century. He published his first novel Fanshawe, in 1828. However, he is widely known for his novels The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables. His novel, The Scarlet Letter, can be analyzed from historical, psychological and feminist critical perspectives by examining his life from the past, as well as his reflections while writing The Scarlet Letter. In order to understand the book properly, it’s necessary to use these three perspectives.
In the Puritan society the outlandish mindset of the leaders caused more harm than good with the witch trials in Salem to the events mentioned in The Scarlet Letter. Sin and evil the new world cloud the vision of the citizens, yet they are two separate actions and have different definitions. Hawthorne explains the difference between the two in the novel and also shows off his famous skill of questioning a society’s rules, regulations, and social structure. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses his writing style of ambiguity, and ornate word choice to relay his opinion of the puritan society. Characters, quotes, and symbols give us a snapshot of the time and thoughts on events and ideas during the era. Hawthorne’s characters are a
The novel opens with the people of the town gathering outside the jailhouse with “grim rigidity” (Hawthorne 47) waiting for Hester to appear. As she proceeds to exit the jail, Hester encounters snide remarks from people around her. She describes leaving the jailhouse as agonizing: “Haughty as her demeanor was, she perchance underwent an agony from every footstep of those that thronged to see her, as if her heart had been flung in the street for them all to spurn and trample upon” (Hawthorne 52). Her society makes Hester feel inferior and unwelcome after she commits a sin, reflecting their lack of compassion and sympathy for each other. When she is given her punishment to wear the scarlet letter on her chest for as long as she lives, the townspeople react negatively and demand a harsher punishment. A woman in the crowd asserts “At the very least, they should have put the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne’s forehead” (Hawthorne 49). Yet another yells, “This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die. Is there not law for it” (Hawthorne 49). In saying this, they allude to the idea that Hester should have faced a more severe punishment, preferably one that involved physical pain. From Hester’s treatment, it is clear that Puritans are “a grim and gloomy race, impatient with
“There are many things in this world that a child must not ask about” (Hawthorne). In a shameful society, prejudice against an individual can go far beyond a child’s understanding of the society. On the other side, revealed, corrupt action often yields to ignominy and humiliation in public; thus, one would rather keep their guilt or shame to themselves for a perfect image. Similarly, during the 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a novel in Salem, Massachusetts, The Scarlet Letter, which he portrays the impact of humanity’s ceaseless struggle with sin, guilt, and hypocrisy in public or private matters. Moreover, he reveals the society’s internal and external impact on the nature of the individuals. Specifically, Hawthorne utilized
In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne’s punishment for adultery is to stand on a scaffold in the middle of town for three hours, and to wear a scarlet letter on her garment for the rest of her life. Today judges sometimes use public humiliation instead of traditional punishments, like jail time or community service, to punish criminals. In today’s society public humiliation should not continue be used to punish criminals in today's society.
The Scarlet Letter is a modern classic of American literature written about controversy and published with controversy. The main topic of the book, adultery, is written in a dark and sad way, as Hawthorne describes injustice, fate or predetermination and conscience ( Van Doren, 1998) . No other American novel of the time has such a controversial theme as Hawthorne's, The Scarlet Letter. The setting of Nathanial Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is the seventeenth century Puritan New England. But Hawthorne's writing for this book is heavily influenced by his own nineteenth century culture. Hawthorne strongly believed in Providence. Hawthorne was descended from the Puritan