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The Scarlet Letter - Notes

Uploaded by jediknight17 on Sep 14, 1999

Author's Background:
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts on July 4th, 1804. Hawthorne lived poor due to his father's death when he was four, but he was helped by relatives and enrolled in college where he displayed an interest in writing. In college, he met a friend who would prove to be an invaluable help Franklin Pierce, future President of the United States. In 1825 he graduated and lived with his uncle in Salem for 12 years, devoting his time to reading, writing, and scrapping for publication. He spewed out several stories, but few sold for over $35 each. In 1837 Hawthorne took a job in the Custom-House in Boston. He grew bored with this work and the people around him, however, up to the point where he wrote The Custom House as an introduction to The Scarlet Letter. In this introduction he showed the dull life of working in a custom house. From the Custom-House, he left for Brooke Farm.

During his time at Brooke Farm, he met such thinkers as Emmerson and Thoreau. He also met and courted Sophia Peabody, and left Brooke Farm with her in 1842 to stay at "Old Manse", the Emmerson homestead. When Emmerson returned to Old Manse, Hawthorne left and went to Salem to live with Sophia. From this point, Hawthorne won a job at the Salem Custom-House due to a political appointment from his college friend Franklin Pierce. However, when the political winds changed to Zachary Taylor, he lost his job and devoted himself to writing at his wife's insistence. The result was The Scarlet Letter, which was the beginning of a successful series of books including The House of Seven Gables in 1851, The Blithedale Romance in 1852, and Tanglewood Tales for Boys and Girls in 1853. With this success and the aid of President Franklin Pierce, he was appointed as US consul to Liverpool, England. This was a reward for writing Pierce's biography.

Hawthorne's final years are sketchy. On a voyage back to Plymouth, New Hampshire, he became deathly ill and died on May 19, 1864. He was buried on Concord, Massachusetts.

Literary Period and Setting
Literary Period: Romanticism and Transcendentalism
Setting: Boston, Massachusetts. USA 1842-1849

Hester Prynne
A) Hester was a beautiful young woman who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She is proud and strong, but commits the sin of adultery with Reverend Dimmesdale while her husband is supposedly in England finishing up some work. Pearl is...

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Uploaded by:   jediknight17

Date:   09/14/1999

Category:   The Scarlet Letter

Length:   9 pages (1,946 words)

Views:   1910

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