The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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During the nineteenth century, Nathaniel Hawthorne graced America with The Scarlet Letter. Out of all of his works, the commended author’s most enduring and well-known novel is The Scarlet Letter. The narrative was set in the 1600s around the same time as the historical Salem Witch Trials. Over the years, this classic story has been reviewed by numerous essayists. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s most popular novel reflects the injustice of the Salem Witch Trials and received notable analyses from major literary critics.
Born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts, Nathaniel Hawthorne was the son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Manning Hathorne (Pennell 1). Finding the harshness of his strict Puritan ancestors to be unsettling, Hawthorne later decided to add the “w” to his name to separate him from his predecessors (Leone 11, 12). In 1808, Hawthorne’s father dies of yellow fever while at sea (Pennell 1). Eventually, Hawthorne enrolled into Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1821 and graduated in 1825 (Leone 13, 14). In 1828, Hawthorne published his first novel Fanshawe, but the book received unfortunate reviews. Thinking he had failed miserably, Hawthorne sought to destroy all copies he could find. Starting in 1830, Hawthorne began having several short stories and sketches published in magazines and periodicals (Pennell 3). In the future, during the spring of 1838, Hawthorne met Sophia Peabody. Similar to Hawthorne, Sophia suffered from her fair share of illnesses and possessed enthusiastic artistic abilities and interests. Towards the end of that year, they were privately betrothed (Leone 16). Hawthorne found a job as a salt and coal measurer at the Boston Custom House in 1839. For the following years, Hawthorne’s everyday work exhausted...

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...ater appreciate and learn several lessons from its theme and historical content. Overall, the novel is valued by many writers and will continue to be inspirational to all throughout the many generations to come.

Works Cited

Blumberg, Jess. “A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials.” Smithsonian.com. 24 Oct. 2007.
Web. 7 Apr. 2014.
James, Henry. “Flaws in The Scarlet Letter.” Readings on The Scarlet Letter. Ed. Bruno Leone.
San Diego: Greenhaven, 1998. 26-31. Print.
Leone, Bruno, ed. Readings on The Scarlet Letter. San Diego: Greenhaven, 1998. 26. Print.
Pennell, Melissa McFarland. Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne. Westport:
Greenwood, 1999. Print.
“Salem Witch Trials: 1692-1693.” Global Events: Milestone Events Throughout History. Ed.
Jennifer Stock. Vol. 6: North America. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2013. World History in Context. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
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