Nathaniel Hawthorne Research Paper

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History and Hawthorne Herman Melville once said that “for spite of all the Indian-summer sunlight on the hither side of Hawthorne’s soul, the other side-like the dark half of the physical sphere-is shrouded in a blackness, ten times black….”(Cain 667). This quote would no doubt, peek many peoples interest in Nathanial Hawthorne and Melville’s reason for saying such a thing. In order to find out what Melville was alluding to in his quote, it is important to look at the background of Hawthorne, and how his background influenced how he wrote. There are many different aspects of Hawthorne’s past that can are seen in his different works. Much like all writers background information can be an important factor to look at, when examining a text, and …show more content…

Hawthorne was a direct descendent of the Puritanical Hathorne’s of Salem, but added the W to his name when he began publishing (Clendenning 2). He may have done this for many different reasons; however, one that is possible to interpret from his writings is a feeling of shame about his ancestors. His background of puritan origins, appears in many different of his writings, especially that of Young Goodman Brown and The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne wrote during the time of the romanticist movement, along with his peers like Melville, Edger Allen Poe, and Washington Irving. His writings no doubt have a particular flare for the romanticist ideals of the time. These romantic ideals are thing such as, the importance of nature, imagination, and an appreciation of the exotic, weird and mysterious. All of which can be seen along with Hawthorne’s background information influence in Young Goodman …show more content…

As mentioned before he might have felt ashamed of his family, and further reading reveals he may have believed just that. Hawthorne has apparently once asserted that since his youth he had felt tainted by his ancestors and their involvement in the witch trials (Maus 80). Looking at Hawthorne in that kind of mindset may change how some might interpret the story of Goodman Brown. It can be seen as a critique of puritan society during the witch trials, and how the puritans had as much capacity for evil as demons, it just was a matter of what type of light you put them in. Hawthorne may have written this to try to absolve himself from his

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