Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter

1631 WordsDec 19, 20157 Pages
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s personal isolation originated in his early childhood and later developed the theme for his most renowned literary novel, The Scarlet Letter. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne emphasized the impact that societal isolation can have on individuals. Several of the victims inflicted with isolation throughout the novel were ultimately met with their inevitable downfalls. One particular character, Hester Prynne, was selected to undergo a struggle comparable to Hawthorne’s own. Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter centered its characters on a theme of both physical and psychological isolation. In order to entirely comprehend the theme Hawthorne depicts in The Scarlet Letter, one must delve into his upbringing. His theme of isolation was developed throughout his early adolescence leading into the beginning of his adulthood. When Hawthorne was merely four years of age, his father had died unexpectedly (Whitney). This death marked the beginning of Hawthorne’s fear of abandonment and ultimately led to his renowned theme of isolation. Following his father’s death, Nathaniel Hawthorne was looked after by his mother and his uncle (Whitney). A strong emotional connection arose between Hawthorne and his mother, but he was often denied her presence. Hawthorne felt as though “he was being managed, played upon, and manipulated by the uncle who seemed so often to step between himself and his mother.” (Johnson 26). On July 31, 1849, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s mother passed
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