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Many different themes and motifs can be found in the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. However, some can be found more frequently than others. Hawthorne wrote with these themes and motifs in mind, producing such masterpieces as The Scarlet Letter, and The House of Seven Gables.

Hawthorne's distinct writing style, as well as the subjects of his work, were no doubt influenced by his puritan background. Hawthorne was fascinated by the puritans. From their habits, to their legal system. Hawthorne's ancestors were prominent puritan citizens in New England. In fact, one of Hawthorne's ancestors presided as a judge over the Salem Witch Trials, in 1692.

One of Hawthorne's favorite themes to write about was morality. "Hawthorne was famously ambiguous when writing about prevailing American morals. The author himself also remains difficult to pin down. Was he a dark loner or political hack? Creator of America's first feminist character or a sexist? A family man or a neglectful husband?" (JAY LINDSAY, Associated Press Writer, 2004)

Another common theme in Hawthorne's work is individual vs. society. This is most evident in The Scarlet Letter.

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