Nathaniel Hawthorne's Biography

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Davin Dillard
English lll AP
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s biography
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born July 4, 1804. He is a descendent to Puritanical ancestors of the Salem, Massachusetts. These ancestors belonged to the infamous Christian prosecutors of a mass of innocent women in Salem. The Author of the Scarlett Letter’s Nathaniel Hawthorne found inspiration which was birthed from guilt. He felt the burden of lingering guilt from his ancestors which he wished to distance himself from. He goes as far to disassociate himself of his Ancestors partaking in the infamous Salem witch trials of the 1690’ s by simply adding a “w” to his last name. Nathaniel Hathorne becomes Nathaniel Hawthorne at age twenty-six. Hawthorne’s true intensity is bolded by this because the time distance between the Witch Trials and the 1800’ s is a century. The book “The Scarlett Letter” is a tale of two loves that both carry the burden of guilt, similar to that of Hawthorne. Hester Prynne, the woman who is labeled as an adulteress, is able to escape this guilt by her needlework, and adapting to the feeling of inadequately exiled. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, the adulterer, cannot seem to find his redemption as Prynne is. By the end, he becomes quite the victim of his own conscious. His shame is kept on the inside as opposed to his sleeve (or in this case, his shirt as Hester and Pearl) most of the story. It is very interesting how he is more distressed than his significant other, who’s sin is manifested as a single letter worn on her at all times. Even after her death, the scarlet letter is kept by her on a tombstone, as if it is forever a part of her. Therefore, the conclusion can be made that the “W” in Hawthorne’s last name is actually an equivalent to the scarlet “A” displayed on Hester Prynne! The child, who it Pearl, is birthed from sin. She represents hope and is not a manifestation of her sinful parents. She is actually quite beautiful. The true condemnation seems to come...