Nathaniel Hawthorne Influences

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Nathaniel Hawthorne, the man who set the tone for short stories in America, is still being recognized by millions for his incredible work. Discovering Authors even states in “Nathaniel Hawthorne”, that Edgar Allen Poe had once said that Hawthorne was “the example, par excellence in this country of the privately admired and publicly- unappreciated man of genius”. Hawthorne was shaped by his early life and childhood, but his work was shaped by his literary techniques, subject matter and criticism. Much of Hawthorne’s work revolved around events that occurred in his own life, so to understand his work, you have to understand his upbringing. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, July 4th in 1804 (“Nathaniel”). It is clear in Suzan …show more content…
In Claudia Durst Johnson’s “Social Issues in Literature,” it says the introduction was intended as an act of aggression and revenge for his loss of his job as chief in the Custom House (113). Hawthorne makes it extremely clear that he feels like he was betrayed by his fellow male coworkers and politicians (113). However, Hawthorne sets the image of the “The Custom House” with a female American eagle (113). This says that on some deep level Nathaniel felt betrayed by a maternal figure. Although, Hawthorne does not perceive his tale as serving the causes of women’s history; he does see it as using one woman’s story to serve the purposes of male history (114). In Discovering Authors’ “Plot Summary: The Scarlet Letter,” it explains that Hawthorne’s emotional and physic drama revolves around Hester …show more content…
While creating the character of Hester, Hawthorne was surrounded by feminists of the 1840s that were challenging social attitudes towards women (Johnson 40). After moving to Massachusetts, Hawthorne was fully exposed to advocates for women’s rights (57). He uses Hester to not only address the unhappiness of domestic life but also the limitations of women in the 1840s (40).
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is “…famous for presenting some of the great interpretive difficulties in all of American’s literature” (“Plot Summary”). There is evidence of both feminist and misogynist views in his imaginative and non-fictional writing (Johnson 50). It isn’t certain as to which Hawthorne believed but there are a lot of speculations.
Hester is the main character of Hawthorne’s greatest novel; The Scarlet Letter. Many people see Hester as a hero. Exploring Novels’ “Hawthorne’s Hester” explains that Hester typifies romantic individualism. Many might even see Hester as a hero because of the sympathy that is continuously felt for her. As we read, our sympathy for Hester deepens because we see that she is more sinned against than sinning (“Hawthorne’s”).
A reason that really sets Hester as the hero is how she doesn’t let the letter change her inwardly (Johnson

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