Essay about The Scarlet Letter and Hawthorne

Submitted By 04703333
Words: 624
Pages: 3

The Scarlett Letter, Custom House Minh Ngo Period 3

1. What is the primary purpose of the Custom House intro?
The primary purpose of the CH introduction was to give readers a better understanding of the people living in the CH and their ways of living. In the intro, Hawthorne gives readers an overview of the POV of people in the CH. He thinks that those who once lived in Salem were hurting it. He states, “by her own merchants and ship-owners, who permit her wharves to crumble to ruin.” The intro also gives readers background info on the story and how the diary of Pue is the basic outline of the book. “Prying further into the manuscript, I found the record of other doings and sufferings of this singular woman, for most of which the readers is referred to the story entitled TSL.” He goes on saying “the main facts of that story are authorized and aunthenticated by the docs of Mr. Pue”

2. What significant change does Hawthorne admit to making in telling the story contained in the diary?
Hawthorne admits to putting his own twist to the story in the diary. He states "I must not be understood as affirming, that, in the dressing up of the tale, and imagining the motives and modes of passion that influenced the characters who figure in it. I have invariably confined myself withing the limits of the old Surveyor's half a dozen sheets of foolscrap." (Custom-House p32) Hawthorne is basically saying that his story is inspired by actual events that took place, but still influenced by things of his imagination and creation. Therefore, not all things in this book are true. Hawthorne was just adding interest, meaning, and character to the story or events that were told in the diary. One can say, that Hawthorne used the diary as the outline for the story.
Hawthorne took it upon himself to create this story by putting himself in that time period even though he may not have been familiar with it. It may seem simple, but creating a story based on true events and been restricted on not violating the authenticity of them, can be very challenging. Hawthorne took a risk in doing so. He states "On the contrary, I have allowed myself, as to such points, nearly altogether as much license as if the facts had been entirely of my own invention. What I contend for is the