The Scarlet Letter

Essay title: The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The Scarlet Letter

An influential American author, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote many books and articles, the most well-known of which are "The House of Seven Gables" and "The Scarlet Letter."He was friends with multitudinous other authors, including Herman Melville, who dedicated "Moby Dick" to him. Hawthorne's friends include President Franklin Pierce and prominent transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on the Fourth of July, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts.His grandfather, John Hathorne, was a judge at Salem Witch Trials in 1692.The family name may have been changed to Hawthorne because of this disreputable legacy.Nathaniel grew up poor because of his father's death in 1808, but he wasable to go to Bowdoin Clooege, along with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Franklin Pierce. Hee graduated in 1825 and wrote for periodicals until 1836, when he became a magazine editor and wrote a series of children's books. His first novel was published anonymously with his own money in 1828, but it failed.

In 1842, Hawthorne married Sophia Peapody, a transcendentalist.They returned to Salem, where Nathaniel took a job as a Customs House official from 1846 to 1849. In 1850 he published "The Scarlet Letter", his most prominent work. "The House of Seven Gables" came out the next year, and his writing career took off, with new works appearing frequently for the rest of his life. His wife published many of his notebooks after his death.

Hawthorne's college friend, Franklin Pierce, became our 14th President in 1853.Hawthorne has written a campaign biography for him, and was appointed American Consul in England, where he lived in Liverpool until 1857.Hawthorne spent a year and a half traveling with his wife in Italy, where he wrote his last novel, "The Marble Faun".

They returned to Massachusetts in 1860.Nathaniel Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, during a trip to New Hampshire with Franklin Pierce.

"The Scarlet Letter", which is set in Boston in 1642, is mainly about Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale.They had committed adultery, which is represented in the book by the scarlet letter – the word adultery is never mentioned.Hester has a child named Pearl, who was three months old at the start of the story.

Hester Prynne is certainly the main character in this story. She is different from most of the Puritans.She was taller than average and beautiful.The Puritans kept their hair under little white caps, but she didn't until towards the end of the book.She was very proud, though she became humbler after she started helping people more.She was strong, taking quietly whatever punishments the Puritans gave her, and refusing to reveal Pearl's father.

Arthur Dimmesdale was a preacher in Boston. He was quiet and timid, almost cowardly.He watched Hester stand on the scaffold by herself, and knowing that he should have been there with her almost killed him.He tortured himself to make upfor it, and intended to tell his congregation the truth, but could never bring himself to do it.Everyone saw him as perfect, so many people didn't even believe him when he confessed.

The book opens with Hester being led from the jail to the scaffold in the marketplace.Many Puritans were gathered in groups talking about her sentence, which was to stand in the stocks for several hours where all the Puritans could.

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