Nathaniel Hawthorne Biography | Author of Young Goodman Brown

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Hawthorne was an American fiction writer best known for his novel The Scarlet Letter. Born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1804, he was one of those rare writers who drew critical acclaim during his lifetime. Today, readers still appreciate Hawthorne's work for its storytelling qualities and for the moral and theological questions it raises.

Throughout his lifetime, Hawthorne felt guilt over certain actions of his ancestors. Critics view his literary preoccupation with Puritanism as an outgrowth of these roots. The first Hawthorne to immigrate to Massachusetts from England was William, a magistrate who once ordered the public whipping of a Quaker woman. Shortly thereafter, William's son, John, served as a judge in the Salem witch trials of 1692. Hawthorne's own father was a ship's captain who died when Hawthorne was only four years old. As a result of his family history, Hawthorne filled much of his work, including "Young Goodman Brown...

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This section contains 534 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Young Goodman Brown Study Guide
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Young Goodman Brown from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.