Nathaniel Hawthorne’s childhood influenced his novel The Scarlet Letter. His family’s past was one from which Hawthorne could not escape. An ancestor of Hawthorne’s was known for his offenses against Quakers, and his son to be a judge in the Salem Witch Trials. This fact not only led to the changing of his name’s spelling, with the addition of a “w,” but also impacted his writing of The Scarlet Letter. His religious raising is another way that ultimately taints this text and seeps out of every page. The idea of adultery being such a horrific offence is often drilled into religion and so it was introduced to Hawthorne at a young age, along with even more of the Puritan ways. The fantastic story also portrays the whole idea of “punishment by humiliation” as shown by the actions of the main character being forced to wear a bright red “A” on her c...
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Brilliant, Jon. "The Modern Day Scarlet Letter: A Critical Analysis of Modern Probation Conditions." JSTOR. Duke Law Journal, n.d. Web. 7 May 2014.
Christophersen, Bill. "Agnostic Tensions in Hawthorne’s Short Stories." Critical Insights: Nathaniel Hawthorne. Ed. Lynch Jack. Salem Press, 2010. Salem Literature Web. 1 May. 2014.
Francis, Richard. Transcendental utopias: individual and community at Brook Farm, Fruitlands, and Walden. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997. Print.
Hawthorne, Julian. Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife; a biography,. Boston: James R. Osgood and Co., 1885. Print.
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