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The life of the author of The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne and its various events are invariably represented in his novel Nathaniel was born into a family in Salem Mass on July 4th 1804 His father John Hawthorne was a sea captain and a descendent of one of the judges presiding over the Salem witch trials This kinship with Puritan society was immediately recognized by Hawthorne and he would forever feel himself connected to their society and forever liable for the actions of his forefathers In fact he was so fascinated with the idea of the effects of sin that he explored the effects of a sin of an ancestor on his lineage in his novel The House of the Seven Gables Not to be deficient in this particular the author has provided himself with a moral the truth namely that the wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones However Hawthorne was able to leave Salem behind when he embarked for Bowdoin College in Maine Here he studied literature and met is future wife Sophia Peabody After college with Sophia at his side he moved to a transcendentalist commune called Brook Farm Here he met Ralph Waldo Emerson and other transcendentalist thinkers who scorned the industrialism that was beginning to pervade America at the time preferring a more simple rural existence For a time he came to agree with their ideals however financial debts and disillusionment with the reality of this so called pure and simple lifestyle forced him and his new wife Sophia Peabody to return to Salem inexplicably drawing him back to the place of his ancestors sins This idea of being drawn back the place of ones sin or in his case the sin of his ancestor is ubiquitous in The Scarlet Letter in Hesters continued decisions to remain in the community instead of trying to escape from its choking grasp Hawthorne was not influenced by only his personal experiences
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