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Nathaniel Hawthorne's

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Katelyn Waldrop

on 10 October 2016

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Transcript of Nathaniel Hawthorne's

Nathaniel Hawthorne's

Born 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts, a descendent of John Hathorne, one of the judges at the Salem Witch Trials.
Attended Bowdoin College in Maine.
Anonymously published Fanshawe.
Joined in the transcendentalist commune Brook Farm.
Moved into the Old Manse; published Mosses and was hailed by close friend Melville as an American Shakespeare.
Scarlet Letter published in 1850.
Had a falling out with Melville.
The
Scarlet
Letter

Plot
Feminism?
Amelia Bloomer's The Lily newspaper
Thoreau's Resistance to Civil Government
1827
1849

1850
Hope Leslie
Scarlet Letter (spring)
Emerson's Representative Men
Susan Warner's Wide Wide World
Melville's White-Jacket
Novel tends to reserve judgment on Hester.
Dimmesdale suffers most for hiding his guilt.
The "true sinner" is Chillingworth, Hester's disguised husband.
Historical Context
In 1848 Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton held the Seneca Falls Convention, on July 19th and 20th.
Stanton read the “Declaration of Sentiments and Grievances", declaring that women should have the same rights as men.
Amelia Bloomer published the first women's newspaper, The Lily, in 1849.
Conformed to the stereotype that women were the “defenders of the home.”
Stanton was a reoccurring author.
Famous for promoting the Bloomer costume.

Hope Leslie
They both deal with Puritans.
Hope Leslie's Puritans were closer to the Thanksgiving conception.
The ones in
The Scarlet Letter
are halfway from Thanksgiving to
The Crucible
.

Hester Prynne refuses to betray her partner in adultery/the father of her bastard daughter Pearl, and is condemned to wear a scarlet A for the rest of her existence.
Her lost husband appears and swears her to secrecy on pain of revealing her own secret, allowing him to become the town doctor "Chillingworth".
Chillingworth takes on the ailing Reverend Dimmesdale, who is psychosomatically sick with guilt for being Hester's lover. He uses Dimmesdale's trust to abuse and torment him.
Dimmesdale dies of his guilt after finally confessing. Chillingworth dies because the object of his revenge is gone. Hester leaves, but returns after a few years.
She never removes the A.
Customs-House
Introduction to The Scarlet Letter: Hawthorne's attempt to actualise the novel by portraying it as a story found in documents from a century-past custom surveyor.

This was a common aesthetic conceit, also notable in the Algerine Spy in Pennsylvania. Hope Leslie also utilised the actualisation tactic somewhat.
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Literary Context
Full transcript