One of the most significant writers of the romantic period in American literature was Nathaniel Hawthorne. He was born on July 4, 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts into an old Puritan family (Moore). Hawthorne's guilt of wrong committed by his Puritan ancestors was paramount in the development of his literary career. Nathaniel Hawthorne explored the themes of pride, sin, and the Puritan cycle in American writing in many of his works.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's short stories "The Minister's Black Veil," "The Birthmark," and "Rappaccini's Daughter," the common theme of pride were presented throughout these stories. In "The Minister Black Veil" was about a minister named Mr. Hooper who placed a black veil over his face to gain power over his congregation. "The Birthmark" was regarding a scientist named Alymer whose ultimate goal was to remove a birthmark off of his wife's face. "Rappaccini's Daughter" was about a scientist named Dr. Rappaccini who created a Garden of Eden, made his daughter poisonous, and lured a man in to be her husband. All of the stories illustrated the character's desire for power over others and the consequences brought as a result of power. Mr. Hooper, Alymer, and Dr. Rappaccini all exhibited pride in what they were trying to achieve. Mr. Hooper intended to wear a black veil for one sermon, but after feeling the power that it imposed in him, he decided never to take it off. The power over the congregation gave him pride in what he was accomplishing. Mr. Hooper took pride in delivering the normal Sunday sermon, but the black veil brought on new powers over every member that left the minister even more gratified. Alymer first took pride in being a great scientist. After Alymer was wed, he took pride in combining his new love with his foremost passion of science in trying to remove a birthmark from her face. Although the potion he created was to kill his wife, Alymer nonetheless took pride in the science of creating a potion that did actually remove the birthmark.