Running head: AMERICA PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE America Past, Present, and Future Minh Tran University of Phoenix America Past, Present, and Future Human emotions are complex. They express positive or negative reactions to external and internal stimuli. Emotion, behavior, and cognition influence each other. Thus, each emotion distinctly affects human motivation, learning, thinking, and physical acts. Emotions influence writers or authors in the way he or she expresses himself or herself in his or her writing.
In this paper, the author will discuss how emotions in literature from the past, present, and future impact the way Nathaniel Hawthorne expressed his emotions when writing the books he has published. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Background relates to his Writing Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts. His ancestors were Puritans, who were the first settlers in the state. They came to the New World with Governor Winthrop in 1603. His ancestors were two prominent judges, one active in the persecution of the Quakers in the 1650s, the other in the witch trials of the 1690s, which Anne Hutchinson was the criminal.
Nathaniel grew up in a religious family, and therefore, his religious beliefs influenced the way he wrote. “Nathaniel Hawthorn rarely seemed at ease with himself, his work, or his place in American literary history. The author of American’s most famous novel of religious conscience, he nevertheless characterized his regularly enforced attendance at the services at Salem’s Meeting House, where his ancestors had worshiped for nearly two centuries, as “the frozen purgatory of my childhood”” (McQuade, Atwan, Kaplan, Minter, Stepto, Tichi, & Vendler, 1999, p. 86). In addition, Salem, Massachusetts influenced is writing style in many tales. Salem was Hawthorns childhood home where he was grew up in a close-knit family. He later returned to Salem after graduation to spend time with his mother and sisters to read, and learn about the history of Puritan New England. Therefore, Salem held a special place in his heart and memory, Puritan New England was one of the themes Hawthorn used in many of his tales. “Return to Salem, he lived in his mother and sisters and settle once again into a solitary way of life.
With no immediate need to work for pay, he was able to read widely, showing a special interest in the history of Puritan New England, in Gothic romances, and in the great novelists of the eighteenth century, especially Fielding, Smollett, and Richardson” (McQuade, Atwan, Kaplan, Minter, Stepto, Tichi, & Vendler, 1999, p. 787). Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tales Represent the Past, Present, and Future In My Kinsman, Major Molineux published in 1832, Hawthorn’s story reflects the past, the present, and the future where the main character starts as a young man and continues with his passage from childhood to adulthood.
The main characters name was Robin. Robin met Major Molineux when he was a child, which reflects the past. Robin travels from his home to Boston in search of his relatives. In addition, Major Molineux helps him with his career, which is a reflection of the present. During his journey, he meets strange people, and encounters strange things. Each encounter helps him become a little wiser than he was before, which reflects the future. At the end of the story, a kind man encourages Robin of his ability to survive on his own without Major Molineux.
This represents Hawthorne’s present when he decides to pull away from his mentor and become a writer that inspires readers to believe in their own future and to obtain personal growth and development. “Thanks to you and to my other friends, I have at last met my kinsman, and he will scarce desire to see my face again. I begin to grow weary of a town life, sir. Will you show me the ferry? ” “No, my good friend Robin, – not to-night, at least,” said the gentleman. “Some few days hence, if you wish it, I will speed you on your journey.
Or, if you prefer to remain with us, perhaps, as you are a shrewd youth, you may rise in the world without the help of your kinsman, Major Molineux” (McQuade, Atwan, Kaplan, Minter, Stepto, Tichi, & Vendler, 1999, p. 289). Nathaniel Hawthorne’s influence of the past is demonstrated in his book, Young Goodman Brown published in 1835, with the use of a character named Cloyse; who was a Puritan man involved in the Salem witch trials in 1692. The title “Goodman” replicates Nathaniel’s intention to relate the book to moral perfection. When taken apart “good man” represents a responsible person.
The tale takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, in a time Nathaniel knew well due to his past and his ancestors. In reviewing Nathaniel’s writing, many tales involved guilt versus innocence, good versus evil, and took place in Salem, Massachusetts, or New England. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Characters Rebel against Established Practices of the Past Nathaniel Hawthorne was a religious person raised in a Puritan family. However, in My Kinsman, Major Molineux created a character named Robin, whose focus was looking for his relatives for career advancement.
The tale mentioned little to nothing related to religion. In addition, the tale mentioned drinking and smoking places, which was against traditions of the past. “He entered the tavern, and was guided by the murmur of voices and the fumes of tobacco to the public-room. It was a long and low apartment, and oaken walls, grown dark in the continual smoke, and a floor which was thickly sanded, but of no immaculate purity” (McQuade, Atwan, Kaplan, Minter, Stepto, Tichi, & Vendler, 1999, p. 794).
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Characters Rebel against Established Practices of the Present In Wakefield published 1835, Nathaniel created a character who rebelled against established practices of the present with the use of a character who leaves his wife for a number of years. In Puritan culture, once an individual is married, he or she has to be with the loved one through sickness and health. Leaving a loved one alone for a number of years was not acceptable. “One evening, in the twentieth year since he vanished, Wakefield is taking his customary walk towards the dwelling which he still calls his own.
It is a gusty night of autumn, with frequent showers that patter down upon the pavement, and are gone before a man can put up his umbrella” (McQuade, Atwan, Kaplan, Minter, Stepto, Tichi, & Vendler, 1999, p. 817). Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Characters Rebel against Established Practices of the Future In The Scarlet Letter published 1850, Nathaniel created a character named Hester Prynne, who committed the crime of adultery. Arthur Dimmesdale was Hester Prynne’s secret lover. They are both suffering under, while attempting to come to terms with, their mutual sin of adultery in a strict Boston Puritan society.
Nathaniel used these characters to challenge future generations to avoid judging individuals based on some of their actions or social standings. Society judges Hester Prynne as a bad person based on her adulterous actions, although she had many positive qualities. Tensions of the Past Emerges in Nathaniel Hawthorn’s Work Although the Salem Witch Trials had unfolded more than one hundred years prior, nineteenth-century Puritan was still reeling from inherited guilt, even as it rebelled against the constrictive morals of its forbearers.
Nathaniel’s ancestors were judges in two trials related to women committed crime. One involved the whipping of a Quaker woman who refused to renounce her religious beliefs, and the other was the Salem Witch Trials, which involved Anne Hutchinson. Therefore, Nathaniel used this tension of the past to create tales, and refer to women as simple evils. “Thither cam also the slender form of a veiled female, led between Good Coyse, that pious teacher of the catechism, and Martha Carrier, who had received the devil’s promise to be queen of hell. A rampant hag was she.
And there stood the proselytes beneath the canopy of fire” (McQuade, Atwan, Kaplan, Minter, Stepto, Tichi, & Vendler, 1999, p. 811). Tensions of Present and Future Emerge in Nathaniel Hawthorn’s Work During this period, the United States of America normalized relationships with other countries. Outside influences were coming in from Europe. Nathaniel Hawthorn, with his background as Puritan, worried that with outside influences, Puritan culture in America might not survive. Therefore, he wrote a book where the theme of his writing entailed guilt versus innocence.
Guilt referred to the outside influences versus the innocence of Puritan culture as he believed; “In their train were minstrels, not unknown in London streets: wandering players, whose theatres had been the halls of noblemen; mummers, rope-dancers, and mountebanks, who would long be missed at wakes, church alse, and fairs; in a word, mirth makers of ever sort, such as abounded in that age, but now began to be discountenanced by the rapid growth of Puritanism” (McQuade, Atwan, Kaplan, Minter, Stepto, Tichi, & Vendler, 1999, p. 21). Conclusion Nathanial’s influences of his writings included the past, present, and his belief of future events. Therefore, the themes of his writing focused on Puritan colonial areas such as Boston, Salem, and New England. In addition, his writings focused on individual versus society, self-fulfillment versus accommodation, hypocrisy versus integrity, love versus hate, and fate versus free will.
Nathaniel’s contributions of writings to our nation’s literature are inspiring and are useful teaching materials for the young generations. References McQuade, D. , Atwan, R. , Kaplan, M. , Minter, D. , Stepto, R. , Tichi, C, & Vendler, H (1999). The Harper Single volume American Literature (3rd Ed. ). New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.