Paper on Scarlet Letter4

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Scarlet Letter4


The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was a book of many meanings. The
novel paralleled to Hawthorne’s life, particularly his childhood. He used The Scarlet Letter as a
physiological vent. Hawthorne’s life is greatly reflected throughout the novel. Hawthorne left
traces of his home town’s atmosphere, his psychological well-being, his family life and his habits.
Hawthorne lived a life of guilt in the puritan ages as did his main character, Hester Prynne. He
was also against the puritan government for a portion of his life, as are the two lovers,
Dimmesdale and Hester. Hawthorne was a secluded child after his father died. He was very
sheltered from the real world; therefore, forced to stay within the realms of his mother’s side. The
meteorology, setting, politics, and anthropology in The Scarlet Letter refers in some way to
Hawthornes life.
Hawthorne loved nature with a passion, it was his joy. When he was younger he had an
accident playing ball and was forced to stay inside for a long period of his childhood; this
occurrence only caused his love for the outdoors to grow. The woods in which Hawthorne
played in are very similar to the woods on the out skirts of the town in The Scarlet Letter.
Hawthorne’s love for the wilderness is greatly shown throughout the novel; Considering the
majority of the novel takes place in the outdoors. Pearl, one of the main characters, who is
paralleled to Hawthorne, feels safe in the woods and sunshine. It is in the woods where Pearl
finds her happiness, playing alone just as Hawthorne did as a boy. Salem, where Hawthorne
grew up, had a climate very similar to Boston’s where the novel supposedly took place. In The
Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne tries to create the same climate as his childhood, setting the seen for an
interpretation of his childhood.

Gray 2
The Scarlet Letter’s plot took place in Boston around the 1640’s. The Boston Hawthorne
created in his writings greatly resembled his childhood home Salem, Massachusetts. Both were
strong puritan towns still developing and growing. Puritan influence was the center of each town.
The church was the government. Not only were the towns the same; but also, the outskirts were
similar. Hawthorne and his mother felt very secluded from the town not because of their location
but more from the actions of the townspeople. The Hawthornes were looked at differently than
others because of their family heritage. Hawthorne’s elders were strongly involved in the
magistrates; also, Mr. Hawthorne died when Nathaniel was four. Hester and Pearl felt the same
way in Boston. Hester was looked at as an outcast because she bore a scarlet “A”. Also, she and
her babe lived alone on the outskirts of town. Hawthorne placed them on the outskirts of town to
exaggerate the feeling he experienced of separation from the town. Hester’s and Pearl’s lives
closely resembled that of Hawthorne’s and his mother’s. Hawthorne wanted to display that he
once lived in that setting.
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