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Puritan Themes in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Writing

Uploaded by spootyhead on Mar 20, 2007

Puritan Themes in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Writing

American novelist and nineteenth century writer Nathaniel Hawthorne was the first writer to apply artistic judgment to Puritan society. There were many transcendentalists during Hawthorne's time period, but his works showed little optimism and self-confidence. Most of his works were written from a Puritan preoccupation (Comptons Encyclopedia, 83). With a series of short stories and novels that brought back the life of New England’s Puritan past, Hawthorne achieved one of the most distinguished literary careers of the nineteenth century (Dictionary of World Biography, 1064).

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts on July 4, 1804. His mothers name was Elizabeth Manning and his father was Nathaniel Hathorne. Hawthorne’s father was a ship captain who died in 1808 in a distant port. Hawthorne was only four. Hawthorne's uncle was Robert Manning. Manning was a very well known Pomologist and was wealthy. John Hathorne was Hawthorne's great – great grandfather who was one of three judges in the Salem witchcraft trials. He was the first of the family to come to America (Cyclopedia of Worlds Authors, 917). Nathaniel Hawthorne's sisters were Elizabeth and Maria Louisa. When Nathaniel’s ancestors came to America they were very rich. For a long time the family had a very rich background, but as years progressed the family began loosing money. Most of Salem declined because of the war. The town and Hawthorne did not seem to recover completely (American Writers, 223).

Picture a man of standard build, with dark hair and dark eyes and smart. This portrays what Nathaniel Hawthorne looked like most of his life. Nathaniel was a very quiet person. As a young boy he did not have boy friends that he would go out and play with. As a way of communication, Hawthorne wrote many letters to people (Woodberry, 6). When Hawthorne became older he was often known to join friends at clubs and outdoor sports. He later added the “w” to his last name to make it look the way it was pronounced (Dictionary of World Biography, 1064).

During his adolescent years, Hawthorne became a very private person. This evolved from after his father getting killed. Hawthorne's family had to depend on his mothers mother for everything. This made him feel insecure of himself and shy....

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Uploaded by:   spootyhead

Date:   03/20/2007

Category:   English

Length:   4 pages (855 words)

Views:   5775

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