Nathaniel Hawthorne

A useful site as you seek for information on Nathaniel Hawthorne and his classic novel The Scarlet Letter


Biography on Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hawthorne was born in 1804 in Salem Massachusetts.  He later attended Bowdoin College, which led to a career in writing during the mid 1800s.  Nathaniel Hawthorne not only contributed to society through his writing, but also while he served as U.S. Consul.  His writing led to the creation of The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, and The Marble Faun. Read More


Writing Style of Nathaniel Hawthorne

 The writing style of Nathaniel Hawthorne is well known for its extreme formaility.  Hawthorne's writing is filled with symbolism, lengthy descriptions, reacurring themes, and allegory.  Many of his novels are set in Puritan New England.  The settings are inspired by his ancestors and they also hold a great deal of structure and morals, which is great place to set his themes of sin and the troubled mind.  The Scarlet Letter is a great piece used to analyze his style.  Read More


Novel Summary of The Scarlet Letter

Classified as a classic novel and one of Hawthorne's more well known novels The Scarlet Letter is a tale of sin.  Hester Prynne is shunned from her town because she has committed the crime of adultery.  She and her daughter live in a life of shame as Prynne bears the scarlet letter "A" on her chest.  While she hides the identity of her lover her husband travels from England to the colonies to find what has come of his wife.  As he seeks revenge the story unfolds revealing the identity of her lover and the nature of evil.  Read More


Thematic Analysis of The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter has many themes, but the most recurring are sin and its consequences, the nature of evil, and knowledge as power.  In The Scarlet Letter the themes are often expressed through symbols.  The letter "A" and Prynne's daughter Pearl are both symbols of sin in this novel.  The revenge that Roger Chillingworth seeks is also a form of sin in The Scarlet Letter.  Knowledge posing as power is also present in Chillingworth's ability to manipulate characters through the information and position that he holds in the colony.  The themes of this novel are most recurring through the affiars of Hester Prynne.  Read More