Nathaniel Hawthorne's Life

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Nathaniel Hawthorne was an extraordinary writer, who used real life experiences in every one of his stories. However, growing up in a Puritan society during a reformation gave Hawthorne a distorted view on God’s character. Hawthorne was intelligent, but by no means a people person, which created a pathway for him to become an author. There were a few key points in his life growing in a religion zealous society that lead him to abandon his faith. Hence, the short story of “Young Goodman Brown” representing that humans are cynical and evil, and the dangers of losing your faith in God. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in the year 1804 in the heart of Salem, Massachusetts, where to Salem witch trials were conducted. Hawthorne was born in an unforgiving time period, where life revolved around religion and family. Hawthorne’s father died of Yellow Fever in the year 1808. Nathaniel grew up fatherless, which had a lasting effect on who he later became to be. Education at the time was centered on reading and writing, with a heavy religious influence. “The education of the next generation was important to further "purify" the church and perfect social living” (Kizer). However, since his father passed away, there was no other man to instill the Puritan beliefs into young Nathaniel. Hawthorne later on was able to see the culture through a different lens than the people surrounding him, which made him slightly opposed to the Puritan way of life. He became intellectually rebellious; not thinking in the same way that his peers or family was. There was a catalytic event that occurred throughout the mid-1700s to the early 1800s, known as the Second Great Awakening. This event was the slow reformation of Puritan doctrine which lead to new denominations... ... middle of paper ... ...g Nathaniel questions, and he was looking in the wrong places to find answers, which lead to him losing his faith. His life experiences and ideas were incorporated into his writing, such as “Young Goodman Brown”. His ancestry lead him to believe that even the people of God are evil people at heart. The short story of “Young Goodman Brown” is representing that humans are cynical and evil, and the event of losing your faith in God. If only he had more of an open mind to see that people make mistakes and are not perfect, then he might have never lost his faith. Works Cited Kizer, Kay. "Puritans." Www3.nd.edu. University of Norte Dame, n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. "Nathaniel Hawthorne - Biography." Nathaniel Hawthorne. The European Graduate School, n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. Kennedy, Professor. "Wandering Mind." Wandering Mind RSS. Sakridge, 4 Feb. 2012. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.
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