Famous Works of Nathaniel-Hawthorne
Nathaniel-Hawthorne, a talented American novelist and a well-known short story writer was a master of allegorical and symbolic tale. He was conceived in 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts and died on May 19, 1864. Hawthorne’s heritage can be tied to, William Hathorne, his early ancestor, who first emigrated from England to America in 1630 and settled in Salem, Massachusetts, where he took the persona of a ruthless judge known for his harsh sentencing. William’s son, John Hathorne, was one of three judges that participated in the Salem Witch Trials, which later influenced Nathaniel’s decision to add a “w” to his name in an effort distance himself from that side of his family. A few of his most memorable stories such as, “The Scarlet Letter (1850) and the House of the seven Gables (1851) can also be attributed to his entitled past. Wealth for Hawthorne was a common thing and his family always had abundance of it since the time of his ancestors.
Hawthorne was one of the greatest Anti-Transcendentalist writers and was a part of the American Renaissance that occurred in the 19th century, which is considered the romantic period in American literature. However, the writer’s style was considered old-fashioned even for the time period he was writing in. Some literary critics have dubbed his style “pre-modern,” according to the book Nathaniel Hawthrone American: “His style for instance, though at its best a wonderfully effective instrument for the expression of his sensibility…” Most of Hawthrone’s story consist of moral, cautionary tales about guilt and sin. As a result, many of his reader consider his work dark and gloomy.
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. Even today, people try to play “God” and change things that fit their agenda. How much can be changed, how many things can be perfected? Religion, gender, and science were relevant in Hawthorne’s stories. The theme of religion is hidden in the desire to erase
Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote “Young Goodman Brown” in 1835, however, set the story in Puritan New England during the late 17th century (during the time of witch trials). It 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 symbolism as well as visual clues. All are dealt with in everyday life in modern America. “His ability to create vivid and symbolic images that embody great moral questions appears strongly in his short stories.”
It is not a surprise that Hawthrone’s Salem ancestors themselves and his Puritan culture greatly influenced his writing. Even though the slave trade ended in 1808 slavery was still very much alive til 1861. The writer was around to see all these changes in cultural and society and to see the war begin.
The known writer uses similar literally devices throughout his short stories. One of the literally devices he uses is allusions. The “Young Goodman Brown’’ contains a number of literally devices, such as biblical allusions. “But the only thing about him that could be fixed upon as remarkable was his staff…” (Young Goodman Brown)
Nathaniel Hawthrone’s experiences and upbringing helped him develop a keen understanding of the tenets of Puritanism. As a result, the uniquely American character, a combination of dogmatic Puritanism and pioneer diligence and self-sufficiency, which plays a significant role in Hawthorne’s stories.