How was Nathaniel Hawthorne affected by Puritanism, and how did Puritanism influence his short story "Young Goodman Brown"?

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Hawthorne was very interested in guilt and sin, in part because of his great-great-grandfather's participation in the Salem Witch Trials.  In fact, he was so embarrassed by his ancestor's guilt that he actually added the "w" to his last name in order to separate himself more fully from Judge Hathorne.  Much of Hawthorne's work focuses on the effects of guilt and sin on individuals, especially when they remain secret—think of Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale of The Scarlet Letter or Father Hooper of "The Minister's Black Veil." Like those characters, Young Goodman Brown would likely be much better off if he were simply honest about his sinfulness.  He tries to hide it from his wife, Faith, and if he had simply told her where he was going, then perhaps things would not have gone so terribly awry. Likely, they would have gained a better understanding of one another, bringing them closer together in their relationship.  Many people, perhaps beginning in America with the Puritans, seemed to try...

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