This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Biography Of Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

1512 words - 6 pages

When a child is born, his family is there to welcome him into the world. Whether he knows it or not, this family will eventually mold his character, views, and faith. Although all parents try their best to successfully raise their children, even the most perfect of families cannot hide their deep, dark secrets forever. Raised as a Puritan, Nathaniel Hawthorne grew up with a devout family intensely immersed in religion. As he matured, Hawthorne discovered that his seemingly pious family was disturbingly flawed, a discovery that would radically change his life. In his short story “Young Goodman Brown,” Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Puritan family secrets aid in forming symbols of faith and evil and developing the inner complexities of his characters.
Hawthorne, the sixth generation in a family of American Puritans, was raised to strictly follow his religion. Born on July 4, 1804, Hawthorne spent most of his childhood years living in Salem, Massachusetts, the epicenter of Puritanism (Bio.com 1). On the surface, his family, the Hathornes, seemed kind and accepting. However, Nathaniel dug deeper and learned that his family’s connections to Puritanism were stronger than he could have imagined. Both William Hathorne, the family’s first American ancestor, and John Hathorne, Nathaniel’s great-great-grandfather, were involved in religious persecution. In fact, John Hathorne was one of three judges at the corrupt, biased Salem Witch Trials (European Graduate School 1). During these trials, several innocent people suspected of witchcraft were sentenced to death by the unethical legal system. While the other judges eventually apologized for their unjust actions, Hathorne refused to because, in his opinion, the will of god controlled the court’s decisions. After realizing that his family had such an embarrassing legacy, Hawthorne’s life drastically changed (World Biography 1).
By adding a “w” to his name, Hawthorne was able to distance himself from his imperfect ancestors. Unfortunately, Hawthorne could never separate himself from the lasting impact they left behind. With his discovery, Hawthorne realized that all ancestral knowledge of his angelic and sincere family was a lie. Embarrassed, Hawthorne spent twelve years secluded in, “a period of dreamlike isolation and solitude” (World Biography 2). During this period, his pessimistic views began to develop. Foremost, he had the Dark Romanticist belief that perfection was impossible and could never be achieved. He was also skeptical of social reforms, believing that they were unable to alter society (Allen 468). Additionally, he believed that all people are naturally sinful. If even the most authentic of Puritans, his ancestors, could be corrupted, what would stop anyone else from suffering the same fate? Hawthorne fused these ideas into his short stories using innovative techniques, including characterization and symbolism.
One of Hawthorne’s stories, “Young Goodman Brown,” explores the thoughts and actions of the...

Find Another Essay On Biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Neurosis of Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

2575 words - 10 pages The Neurosis of Nathaniel Hawthorne The influence of Freud's theory of the dynamics of human personality extends far beyond the discipline of behavioral science, reaching into areas such as humanities, philosophy, and literature. Freud believed that a work of literature is the external expression of the author's unconscious mind. Therefore, we must treat the work of literature as a dream, then reveal hidden motivations and repressed

Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Architect of American Literature

1480 words - 6 pages =tel_s_tsla&jsid=ce076e7b96721ed7d42a042694146b00>. Faculty of European Graduate School. "Nathaniel Hawthorne - Biography." 2012. The European Graduate School. 9 April 2014. Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. New York: Penguin Group, 2009. Newberry, Frederick. "The Custom-House." 2006. American History Through Literature 1820-1870. 11 April 2014. Whitney, Teri. "Nathaniel Hawthorne's Early Life: Introduction." 2 April 2014. Hawthorne in Salem. 9 April 2014. —. "The Wife and Children of Nathaniel Hawthorne: Introduction." 2 April 2014. Hawthorne in Salem. 10 April 2014.

"The Life and Times of Nathaniel Hawthorne"

2744 words - 11 pages Henry W. Longfellow once said, Hawthorne "was a mysterious man". Longfellow knew Nathaniel Hawthorne in person not as a historian. Nathaniel Hawthorne can be understood if one looks into his past and researches one of his works. Nathaniel Hawthorne's mystery comes from his in depth look into human perception, which shines through his imagery in "Young Goodman Brown".Nathaniel Hawthorne was born into a Puritan family in July of 1804. His father

Symbolism in Writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne

1171 words - 5 pages stands for something else" (509). Nathaniel Hawthorne is well known for using symbols of nature in many of his stories. In My Kinsman, Major Molineux, lead character, young Robin, comes to town with the expectation of a distant relative handing him a silver spoon. In this story Hawthorne uses the light and dark to represent good and evil. When Robin first arrives in town "It was near nine o'clock of a moonlight evening" (584). In this

Analysis of The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne

861 words - 3 pages Analysis of The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne Although “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne was written in the mid-1800s, its themes and ideas are still a part of society today. The 19th century was a time of change, just as this, the millennium, is a time of great change. Hawthorne’s ideas about science, beauty, and life still play a major part in our lives, despite many improvements. Even today, people try to play “God” and change

Criticism of "Rappaccini's Daughter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne

6317 words - 25 pages Kayla Sade Maria HeadleyLIT-201-001 (American Lit. to 1880)Professor Altschuler18 October 2013 Criticism of "Rappaccini's Daughter" by Nathaniel HawthorneAll of the features characteristic of Hawthorne's fiction are present with a vengeance in "Rappaccini's Daughter": ambiguity, symbolism, allegory, the Gothic, fantasy, the shallow young hero, the vital female character, the Faustian and diabolical character, the theme of faith, the theme of

Summary of Ethan Brand by Nathaniel Hawthorne

743 words - 3 pages Summary of Ethan Brand by Nathaniel Hawthorne In the short story Ethan Brand, Ethan Brand lusts for knowledge that leads him on a quest for the unpardonable sin. The unpardonable sin, as one may interpret, is pride and self-gain. It is a loss of the brotherhood with man, and a loss of respect for God. Once this knowledge is gained, he faces alienation from all those around him. In searching for this sinful knowledge, Ethan Brand

Hipocrisy of Religious Figures in the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne

2588 words - 11 pages When going into a building, whether it is a church, a school, or a workplace, a person can normally see a difference in few people. Christians usually set themselves apart from the rest of the world because they have something others do not, Jesus Christ. Religious figures such as pastors, reverends, or ministers are supposed to set a good example for everyone so that people may look up to them. Nathaniel Hawthorne had a very good example of

Analysis of the Works of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne

1254 words - 5 pages Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne are two of the most influential authors in American Literature. Both men wrote about similar themes, creating great admiration between them. The relationship that had grown between them was a source of critic and interpretation that would ultimately influence each of their works. Melville in particular was moved by Hawthorne's intellectual stimulation and inspired him to write "Moby-Dick",a dramatic novel

The Use of Color Symbolism by Nathaniel Hawthorne

1120 words - 4 pages Is it possible for an author to utilize so much symbolism that it captivates the reader to the extent of paralleling the tale with their own life? The principle of symbolism is quite evident in the story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown”. Nathaniel Hawthorn’s work is immersed with symbolism with most of it deriving from his Puritan beliefs. The themes of sin, guilt, innocence, and lust come forth through the uses of color

The Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe

1459 words - 6 pages When discussing romantic writers, Nathaniel Hawthorne, I believe, immediately comes to mind. Even though, Poe is not one of the authors that come to mind immediately, he cannot be forgotten as a romantic writer as well. People mainly think that Hawthorne and Poe are polar opposites but they are not so different. Yes, Hawthorne and Poe write differently and have different views they both write about the dark aspects of romanticism. When my sister

Similar Essays

Nathaniel Hawthorne Literary Biography Essay

683 words - 3 pages previously bothered her or her prior lovers” (Ellis). Works Cited Bloom, Harold. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Updated Edition. New York: Chelsea House, 2007.Infobase eBooks. Web. 6 May 2014. Canada, Mark, ed. "Nathaniel Hawthorne." Canada's America. 1997. Web. 26 April. 2014. Ellis, Robert P. "Nathaniel Hawthorne." Critical Survey of Short Fiction: American Writers. Ed. E. May Charles, 4th ed. Salem Press, 2012. Salem Literature Web. 26 April. 2014 Marks, Patricia. "Nathaniel Hawthorne." Critical Survey of Long Fiction. Ed. Rollyson Carl, 4th ed. 10 vols. Salem Press, 2010. Salem Literature Web. 26 April. 2014.

Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Brief Biography Essay

1585 words - 7 pages they would not have his stories to read. Works Cited Arvin, Newton, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne’s Short Stories. New York: Vintage Books, 1946. Print Clendenning, John. “Nathaniel Hawthorne” The American Novel, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014 Gollin, Rita K, e.d. “Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864).” N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014 Meltzer, Milton. Nathaniel Hawthorne; A Biography. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books, 2007. Print “Nathaniel Hawthorne; 1804-1864.” Dictionary of Literary Biography, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014

A Biography Of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Term Paper, Including Bibliography

1627 words - 7 pages membership in the society of Brook Farm, my childhood in Salem, and my Puritan family background. I believe that I should receive the award because I worked very hard throughout my time and was not afraid to disagree with my Puritan beliefs. "From principles is derived probability, but truth or certainty is obtained only from facts" - Nathaniel Hawthorne.Works Cited:1."Hawthorne, Nathaniel." Encarta Online Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Encarta, 2001.2

The Power Of Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

3071 words - 12 pages The Power of Nathaniel Hawthorne New England in the early 1800's, before the Civil War, was a place teeming with artists, intellectuals, and reformers of every sort. Many of America's great literary geniuses came out of this era; and among the greatest of these was Nathaniel Hawthorne. He was, as Q. D. Leavis put it, "the critic and interpreter of American cultural history and thereby the finder and creator of a literary tradition (Kaul 27