The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

960 Words4 Pages
Jack Joseph
Ms. Lagan
English 3H
13 August 2014

The novel, The Scarlet Letter, was written by the author Nathaniel Hawthorne and was published in 1850 (1). It is a story about the Puritan settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, set around 1650 (2). The story is written in the third person with the narrator being the author.
The common thread that runs through this novel is Hawthorne’s apparent understanding of the beliefs and culture of the Puritans in America at that time. But Hawthorne is writing about events in a society that existed 200 years before he wrote his story. In this way, Hawthorne has possibly altered or romanticized a view of the life, beliefs and behavior of the Puritans who first settled in America (2, 3).
We accept that authors will use their characters to express their beliefs, and in telling a story, the characters may act as the author’s “mouthpiece” for their views. This author’s views may not be based entirely on historical fact, but also on his family history as his family were among the first New England settlers, and they lived in Salem (4).
Romanticism in literature is the belief in the imagination rather than a rational way of understanding reality, with an emphasis on individuality and on self-expression (5). The Romantic period in literature followed the industrial revolution in Europe, and in America it was seen between 1820 and 1860. The first great literary generation in the U.S. were Romantic novelists and included Nathaniel
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