Nathaniel Hawthorne

Essay by rakeshcaltonUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2008

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Introduction:Nathaniel Hawthorne an American novelist was born in July 4, 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. His puritan ancestry made him very much concerned with the sins and morals of English immigrants. He lived during the "Second Awakening", which was an era of religious rebirth characterised by "revival meetings" and "religious activities"From his work and his life it does not seem that he was a profound Christian writer though he seems to be very much influenced by his religion but cant be termed a a staunch believer. In fact Hawthorne was opposed to the religious fever prevalent at that time. He believed puritan colonists were hypocritical which is evident from the story entitled "Young Goodman Brown", Hawthorne attacks and mocks the rising era of religious eagerness occurring during the time he lived. (Moss 423-425).

Young Goodman BrownHis book "Young Goodman Brown" (165-179) portrays the story of a puritan man who loses his faith on human society after he thinks he sees his wife and the most pious affiliates from his town joining in a meeting with evil spirits.

(Wilson 294-311) The story relates to the mass hysteria surrounding that century and the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. The fact that Nathaniel was born into the guilt still left from the trials gave Nathaniel an interest in the puritan era. It interested him how the lives of the people accused of heresy depended on other people who claimed to see them committing sin. (Moss)According to Tharpe (140-145), most of the works Hawthorne wrote were considered to be an autobiography. Hawthorne tries to somehow teach morals and lessons through his writings of short stories. Hawthorne tried getting rid of his guilt by depending on moral significance of his stories. Hawthorne wrote "Young Goodman Brown" during the time when he was insecure. He was insecure...