Research Paper sample - Explore one aspect of the life of Nathaniel Hawthorne and discuss how that part of his background affected his writing.

College
Research Paper
Miscellaneous
Pages 4 (1004 words)
Download 0
This paper will explore that aspect of Hawthorne’s life and examine how this important part of his personal background…

Introduction

The focus will be threefold: the unique role of the town of Salem; the self-imposed weight of Hawthorne’s ancestry; and the characteristics--and dangers--of strict Puritan beliefs.
In order to better understand Hawthorne’s influences, we must examine the historical happenings in his birthplace, especially those years prior to his birth. Salem, Massachusetts has a rich history illustrating early American culture, representing both the good and bad aspects unique to this time. Hawthorne’s great-great-grandfather William was an early leader in Salem, known for his theocratic Puritan beliefs and a strong conviction to rid the community of anyone who did not share those strict tenets. In 1692 Salem, William’s son John was a judge who presided over the Salem Witch trials. He, too, was well known for issuing harsh judgments for a wide variety of wrongs--real or imagined. Often times, innocent people were maimed or put to death (Meltzer 10). It is this legacy that Nathaniel could not escape, even when removed by generations. As biographer Milton Meltzer believed:
There is no evidence of William or John Hawthorne ever suffering pangs of conscience. But Nathaniel bore their guilt, and his tormented heart would influence what he chose to write about, and how he did it. (14)
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s personal history began on July 4, 1804 in Salem. Subsequent generations had taken on more ordinary, less noteworthy roles in the community; Hawthorne’s father was a sea captain (online-literature). He inherited from his father a reserved nature, together with a moodiness that made him more suited for solitude. When Hawthorne was four, his father contracted yellow fever while traveling in Dutch Guiana; his death would always haunt Hawthorne as he struggled with losing a father he barely knew (Meltzer 16). It is the legacy of family--and this great familial loss--that would ...
Download paper
Not exactly what you need?

Related papers

The Scarlet Letter Essay
In the novel, New England represents a core of American civilization founded on Protestant tradition. Hawthorne creates a powerful image of false morals and low social values which ruin life of innocent people. The psychological impact of low morals is heated by traditions existing in Puritan society and preached by members of this society. Hawthorne comments "Morally, as well as materially, there…
6 pages (1506 words)
How does Tolstoy use his characters to show how materialism and social climbing depict an artificial, materialistic life
He was educated and had a comfortable status in society. A judge in the high court in St.Petersbug, with a wife and family, he lives an ordinary life. Through out his life he never cared to reflect on the meaning of life. The humdrum nature of his career was more or less determined by the mechanical compliance to external compulsions of the values of a defunct society. In the smug satisfaction of…
2 pages (502 words)
The Whole Earth One Stain of Guilt: Four Tales of Nathaniel Hawthorne
The journal of his scientific experiments "was the sad confession and continual exemplification of the shortcomings of the composite man, the spirit burdened with clay and working in matter, and of the despair that assails the higher nature at finding itself so miserably thwarted by the earthly part." Still, his not-so-petty triumphs make him feel that he can improve upon the handiwork of Nature…
3 pages (753 words)
How reading and writing has affected my life
rstands the inner details of the society, its values and beliefs and indeed the whole of the related hierarchy related with learning, studies and intellect. This has been the case with my personality as well since the time I have started to learn through proper use of reading and writing. What this means is the fact that I have understood the different aspects of my college life that includes…
4 pages (1004 words)
Nathaniel Hawthorne
“Nathaniel’s passivity and indolence appeared especially unmanly in the presence of Robert Manning’s energetic capabilities, not only to the uncle but to the boy himself. The resulting self-distrust was to be permanently in conflict with Hawthorne’s innate pride” (Erlich, 1984). His family’s Puritan past would weigh heavily upon him throughout his life and would be strongly reflected…
5 pages (1255 words)
nathaniel hawthorne
Particularly, I will compare these protagonists, Hilda and Prynne Hester.…
3 pages (753 words)