Nathaniel Hawthorn, the author of "The Scarlet Letter," lived from 1804 to 1864. Hawthorne developed his talents as a writer by his short fiction works and other novels including "The House of the Seven Gables" and "The Marble Faun" (The American Novel). Hawthorne's works focused on what can be called the darker side of human nature. Many of the concepts Hawthorne wrote about included morality, sin, and redemption (The American Novel). Much of Hawthorne's writings' thematic patterns included the idea of self-trust verses accommodation to authority and guilt verses innocence which is shown in the book "The Scarlet Letter" (The American Novel). This book reflected much of what Hawthorne believed about people and society in the time period during which he lived. This piece of writing was a dramatic accomplishment for Hawthorne and order to analyze this piece of work further; it is important to look at how his beliefs, writing style, and who the audience was intended for and how it impacted the way in which this book is perceived. .
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts. He attended Bowdoin College and absorbed concepts of faulty psychology which impacted his style of writing (Gollin). This belief included a "unitary mind with separate but interacting powers regulated by the will during waking times, but not in dreams; and conviction that fulfillment requires living throughout the entire range of our faculties and sensibilities" (Gollin). Hawthorne's forefathers were strict puritans and his writing reflected the way in which people lived during that time. During this time period, the church was highly involved with the livelihood of others. People such as Hester Prynne, who committed adultery with Author Dimmesdale in "The Scarlet Letter," were made well known to the public eye. The fact that morality and discipline played such significant role in the Puritans' way of life, and the fact that Nathaniel Hawthorne also experienced this way of life, contributed to his writing.