FICTION OF NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE.
Examines four works of fiction by Hawthorne, two novels and two short stories. Themes found in his writings---human pride, hypocrisy of the Puritan faith, sins of intolerance and pride. Puritan ideal of virtue vs universal code of ethics. Evil and human weakness. How Hawthorne's early life affected his later writings.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, born July 4, 1804, was five generations removed from his Puritan American forefathers (Perkins, Bradley, Beatty & Long, 1990).... more
Nathaniel Hawthorne, born July 4, 1804, was five generations removed from his Puritan American forefathers (Perkins, Bradley, Beatty & Long, 1990). He grew up in Salem, Massachusetts amidst genteel poverty, raised by a widowed mother and with two young sisters. This atmosphere was filled with Puritan ideals and pride in his family’s prosperous past that greatly affected his later writings (Perkins, et. al., 1990; Marx, 1980). This “led him to a long investigation of moral and social responsibility” (Perkins, et. al, 1990, p. 734). In his writings he attacked “intolerance, the hypocrisy that hides the common sin, and the greed that refuses to share joy...withdrawal from mankind, cynical suspicion, arrogant perfectionism...whatever divorces the pride-ridden intellect from the common heart of humanity” (p. 734).