What influences an author to write a novel? Many authors use their personal experiences to influence plots and events in their novel. They sometimes also use their ancestry background through themes or relationships in their different works. The events in an author’s life affect the style and content of their literary works which is exemplified by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.
One of the most influential parts of history that helped Hawthorne write is The Salem Witch Trials. The Salem Witch Trials started in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. During this time many women and men were accused of being witches by signing their life off to the devil. Most if not all of the accusers and accused during the Salem Witch Trials were from the northern frontier. This was the location of fighting “in both King Philip’s War 1675-1678 (called the First Indian War) and King William’s War of 1689-1699 (called the Second Indian War”. Within five months 144 people were persecuted as witches. “Violent fighting on the Maine frontier was a major causative factor in producing the witchcraft crisis” (Lewis). During The Salem Witch Trials an accused witch would be humiliated by either making the accused witch confess of being a witch or they would be publicly hung. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter Hester is publicly humiliated for committing adultery. Even though Nathaniel Hawthorne did not grow up when the Salem Witch Trials happened he was influenced by it because he grew up in Salem, Massachusetts.
There is big debate whether Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ancestors played a role in his novel, The Scarlet Letter. “Nathaniel Hawthorne was descended from the Hathornes and the Mannings.” (“The Family of Nathaniel Hawthorne: Introduction”) O...
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...influenced by everything around him.
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Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. New York: Batman Books, 1989. Print.
Heller, Terry. “Salem is my Dwelling Place.” Salem Press June. 1993: 1-3. EBSCOhost. Web. 11
Lewis, Thomas Tandy. “In the Devil’s Snare.” Salem Press June. 2003: 1-3. EBSCOhost. Web.
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Marks, Patricia. “Nathaniel Hawthorne.” Salem Press Jan. 2010: 1-10. EBSCOhost. Web. 11 Dec.
“Nathaniel Hawthorne - Biography.” Nathaniel Hawthorne. n.p. n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.
PBS. “Nathaniel Hawthorne.” PBS. n.d. Web. 16 Dec 2013.
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