Nathaniel Hawthorne (Literary Background)

Puritan heritage was a support and drawback for his work. His heritage gave him inspiration to write, but scine Puritan heritage saw fiction as vanity and an “imitation of God’s creatures and creations,” it also frowned upon his work.

Hawthorne always tried to be mindful of imitating and analyzing human nature in his writings. He disected many human behaviors and reflected them in his writings. He wanted to expose human nature at it’s raw finest, and so he has done with his many works. Even though they are fictional, they are based on things he has witnessed

Hawthorne read a great deal of romantic poetry and was influenced by all chief romantic poets, including, Williams Wordsmith, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Bryan, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats. Of these writers, Hawthorne was most influenced by the work of Coleridge. Coleridge gave Hawthorne the most insight and inspiration.

Hawthorne is best known today for his many short stories and his four major romances written between 1850 and 1860: The Scarlet Letter (1850), The House of Seven Gables (1851), The Blithedale Romance (1852), and The Marble Faun (1860). His work was and still his praised for it’s sentimentality and moral purity. More modern evaluation focuses on the dark psychological complexity or his writing.