The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Scarlet Letter


The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was a book of many meanings. The novel paralleled to Hawthorne’s life, particularly his childhood. He used The Scarlet Letter as a physiological vent. Hawthorne’s life is greatly reflected throughout the novel. Hawthorne left traces of his home town’s atmosphere, his psychological well-being, his family life and his habits. Hawthorne lived a life of guilt in the puritan ages as did his main character, Hester Prynne. He was also against the puritan government for a portion of his life, as are the two lovers, Dimmesdale and Hester. Hawthorne was a secluded child after his father died. He was very sheltered from the real world; therefore, forced to stay within the realms of his mother’s side. The meteorology, setting, politics, and anthropology in The Scarlet Letter refers in some way to Hawthornes life.

Hawthorne loved nature with a passion, it was his joy. When he was younger he had an accident playing ball and was forced to stay inside for a long period of his childhood; this occurrence only caused his love for the outdoors to grow. The woods in which Hawthorne played in are very similar to the woods on the out skirts of the town in The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne’s love for the wilderness is greatly shown throughout the novel; Considering the majority of the novel takes place in the outdoors. Pearl, one of the main characters, who is paralleled to Hawthorne, feels safe in the woods and sunshine. It is in the woods where Pearl finds her happiness, playing alone just as Hawthorne did as a boy. Salem, where Hawthorne grew up, had a climate very similar to Boston’s where the novel supposedly took place. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne tries to create the same climate as his childhood, setting the seen for an interpretation of his childhood.

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The Scarlet Letter’s plot took place in Boston around the 1640’s. The Boston Hawthorne created in his writings greatly resembled his childhood home Salem, Massachusetts. Both were strong puritan towns still developing and growing. Puritan influence was the center of each town. The church was the government. Not only were the towns the same; but also, the outskirts were similar. Hawthorne and his mother felt very secluded from the town not because of their locationbut more from the actions of the townspeople.
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