2 ^McFarland, Philip, Hawthorne in Concord, p. 18. Grove Press, 2004. Nathaniel Hawthorne ^McFarland, Philip, Hawthorne in Concord, p. 18. Grove Press, 2004.Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts, where his birthplace is now a museum. William Hathorne, who emigrated from England in 1630, was the first of Hawthorne's ancestors to arrive in the colonies. After arriving, William persecuted Quakers. William's son John Hathorne was one of the judges who oversaw the Salem Witch Trials.Nathaniel Hawthorne was best buddies with Herman Melville, Moby Dick is dedicated to him “in appreciation of his genius”Hawthorne's work belongs to Romanticism, an artistic and intellectual movement characterized by an emphasis on individual freedom from social conventions or political restraints, on human imagination, and on nature in a typically idealized form. Romantic literature rebelled against the formalism of 18th century reason.His writings were in the Romantic Period. Much of Hawthorne's work is set in colonial New England, and many of his short stories have been read as moral allegories influenced by his Puritan background.
3 ANTI-TRANSCENDENTALISTS – "dark" romantics or Gothic) Poe, Hawthorne, & MelvilleUsed symbolism to great effectSin, pain, & evil existTranscendentalism fails to explain the existence of these factorsHold readers’ attention through dread of a series of terrible possibilitiesFeature landscapes of dark forests, extreme vegetation, concealed ruins with horrific rooms, depressed characters
4 Hawthorne’s Actual Inspiration Elizabeth Pain is buried at King's Chapel Burying Ground. She died in 1704, and her grave is marked with a beautiful carved stone. It is believed that Nathaniel Hawthorne ( ) was inspired by Elizabeth Pain's gravestone, and referred to it in his famous book The Scarlet Letter.
5 InspirationThe shield on Elizabeth Pain's marker likely inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne wrote about the conflicts of Puritanism, albeit with artistic license. Wearing a scarlet "A" was unlikely the punishment for adultery (although public drunkards at times were required to wear a "D" as penalty). Hawthorne also appears to have borrowed Hester Prynne's name from William Prynne, an opponent of the Anglican Church in England in the 1600s, whose ears were cut off as punishment.
6 Essential QuestionsWhat happens when your own moral code conflicts with the majority?What happens when a secret is buried deep within?How can one find redemption?What is the difference between revenge and justice?Why are some people more empathetic than others?
7 Scarlet Letter: Connecting to your own life Think about how you conform or don’t conform to what is expected of you.Do you treat people with a moral code different than your own differently?If you had a choice between taking public responsibility for a socially unacceptable action or leaving to make a fresh start without anyone knowing which would you do?Your friends are angry with you; would you rather get the silent treatment or be confronted (even if it isn’t pretty)?Should a person’s character be judged by their mistakes or by their accomplishments?Would you protect someone else's reputation at the expense of your own?
8 Looking at the text, Chapters 1-6 Scarlet Letter
9 Reading DiscussionHawthorne is heavy on the symbolism, what do the first symbols you notice add? Consider the prison door, the rose bush, and the rose given to the reader, the scarlet letter….Now that you have met Hester Prynne, what do you think of her? Do you pity her? Explain your thoughts.Who was the stranger in the crowd? When did you know? What is his purpose in the town? A quote would be good.What agreements do he and Hester come to in Chapter 4? What does Chillingworth ask Hester to promise?
10 Chap 5-6 DiscussionWhat are two reasons the narrator offers for Hester’s remaining in Boston after her release from prison? What reason does Hester offer herself? (Chapter V) Why does the narrator call her reason a half-truth?The scarlet letter itself takes on a more intense symbolism in the last paragraph of Chapter V. How has the symbolism of the letter been deepened?Is Hester a “good Puritan”?Hawthorne writes: “But she named the infant ‘Pearl,’ as being of great price, --purchased with all she had,-- her mother’s only treasure!” (Note: In the New Testament, a merchant gives all his most valued possessions to purchase “one pearl of great price.”). Discuss Pearl, first impressions?
11 Still mysterious?What questions do we still need answered?
12 Looking forward-strategies What reading strategies are working?How are you using the study guide?What other tips do you have for making this novel work mostly independently?Don’t forget you have…..A study guide to helpA language guideThe speech topics (will post these on Friday)Other background infoThe Socratic questionsDiscussion questions for each chunk of reading (newly posted)
13 Future PlansOur Socratic (final discussion) for the novel will be Friday 9/14 during tutorial. Attendance is mandatory. You will bring your Socratic pre-write responses as your ticket to the discussion.Your final assessments for the novel are:a quick quiz, given during classa 2-3 min persuasive speech on the novel delivered in class on Monday 9/17