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Transcript of Nathaniel Hawthorne
He was born July 4 in Salem, MA in a house that is now a museum.
He was a son of U.S. Navy Captain.
His ancestors were some of the first Puritans in America.
His great grandfather was part of the Salem Witch Trials (which is a theme in many of his stories).
He added the "w" to separate himself from his family and the atrocities they had committed with regard to the witchcraft trials
Nathaniel Hawthorne's Life continued:
He attended Bowdoin College in Maine with poet Henry Longfellow and President Franklin Pierce.
He later wrote Pierce's biography.
He was an avid reader and read stories by James Cooper and Sir Walter Scott and the works of Milton and Shakespeare.
He also wrote short stories but didn't make much money.
He had a job as Boston Custom House measurer.
Hawthorne's Life continued:
He married transendentalist Sophia Peabody.
They had 3 children.
He traveled to Europe and visited France and Italy.
He died May19,1864 in Plymouth, NH.
He was buried in the Sleepy Hallow Cemetery in Concord, MA
His Literary Works:
He wrote several successful short stories in his early career, including "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" and "Young Goodman Brown", his most famous short story.
The Scarlet Letter (1850)
The House of the Seven Gables (1851)
The Blithedale Romance (1852)
The Marble Faun (1860)
The Dolliver Romance (1863) which was unfinished because of illness
Septimius Felton (1872)
Doctor Grimshawe's Secret which was a romance. It was also unfinished and was finished by Julian Hawthorne, his son (1882)
Themes of His Works
Hawthorne's works are classified as romanticism or dark romanticism.
These are tales that suggest that guilt, sin, and evil are the most inherent natural qualities of humanity.
Many of his works are inspired by Puritans from New England, have symbolism, and have deep psychological themes.
His later writings also reflect his negative view of the Transcendentalism movement.
At Bowdoin College in Maine, one of his classmates said: "He lives in a world of imagination, which he never permits one to enter..."