Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 274
Nathaniel Hawthorne's masterpiece The Scarlet Letter (1850), centers on Hester Prynne, a young woman who incurs the wrath of her rigidly Puritan community when she becomes pregnant and refuses to name the father.
Reverend Hooper, the main character in the "The Minister's Black Veil'' an 1835 short story by Hawthorne, bears much in common with other Hawthorne characters, he is obsessed with sin and guilt and chooses to advertise his knowledge of the human potential for evil. The action unfolds in a seventeenth-century New England parish, when the minister reports to a Sunday morning service wearing a black veil.
"The Tell-Tale Heart," Edgar Allan Poe (1843). Considered one of Poe's greatest tales of psychological horror, this story involves a murderer who buries his victim under the floor of his apartment and is then tortured by the sound of a beating heart.
"The Devil and Daniel Webster" (1937) by Stephen Vincent Benet. An O. Henry Memorial Award-winning story about the trial of Jabez Stone, who sells his soul to the Devil, who has tricked the farmer by masquerading as a lawyer. At the trial, Stone is defended by famous New England lawyer Daniel Webster, and the judge presiding over the case is Nathaniel Hawthorne.
"The Devil and his Grandmother," Jacob Ludwig Grimm and Wilhelm Carl Grimm (1812). This tale appears in the timeless collection of literary masterpieces known in English as Grimm's Fairy Tales. The German brothers translated the stories as told to them by common villagers. In this particular tale, three deserting soldiers serve the Devil for seven years and then must solve a riddle to avoid becoming his property. The soldiers are ultimately aided by the Devil's grandmother.