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The Scarlet Letter Hathornes classic novel about romance and the Puritan nature at least thats what most people think On the other hand some educated people think that Hathorne is taking the shame of his ancestors upon himself His earliest predecessor in America was William Hathorne William Hathorne arrived with John Winthrop later governor of Massachusetts William became a major in the Salem militia and also was Speaker of the House of Delegates He had every quality of a Puritan both good and evil He was remembered by Quakers for being intolerable towards Quaker women Williams son Jon was also an influence and disgrace to Nathaniel Jon was a judge at the salem witch trials It is he who is mentioned in the Custom House as having made himself so conspicuous in the martyrdom of the witches that their blood may fairly be said to have left a stain upon himNathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter New York Penguin Books 195921 Nathaniel Hathornes reaction may have led him to say I the present writer as their representative hereby take shame upon myself for the sakes and remove any curse incurred by them This shame Hathorne took upon himself is enough to account for what he designates as one of the many morals which Dimmesdales experience might provide the reader This moral is placed in the final chapter of the novel where he writesBe true Be true Show freely to the world if not your worst yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred242 Also Hathorne might have run across court records for two of his maternal ancestors Anstis and Margaret Manning They were convicted of having committed incest with their brother Nicholas They were publicly whipped in the town square showing the nature of their crime The Adultery found in The Scarlet Letter may be a substitution for this crime Dimmesdale comes into the story an adulterer and being pressured to be
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