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How did people of Nathaniel Hawthorne's time feel about guilt, sin, crime, and...

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nikkyd | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 24, 2009 at 2:35 AM via web

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How did people of Nathaniel Hawthorne's time feel about guilt, sin, crime, and adultery? Did Hawthorne believe the same way his contemporaries did?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 19, 2009 at 11:54 AM (Answer #1)

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Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 and died in 1864 in Salem Massachusetts. His family had strong ties with Puritanism. And one of his relatives was actually involved in the Salem Witch Trials. As for Hawthorne's cultural milieu, I would say that it was very Christian, especially if we compare it to Massachusetts today. Also this was the time of the Second Great Awakening. In this context, people had a strong view of sin, as something morally reprehensible to God. They also shunned things such as adultery. They would even be against things like lust. Many contemporaries would have similar views, especially issues such as adultery. This would be the case up to the mid 1950s. For a good contemporary preacher, see Charles Finney.

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