An Internal Study Of Hawthorne's "Rappaccini's Daughter"
Nathaniel Hawthorne and the problem of evil were not strangers: a brief survey of his life and works will reveal, to even the most casual reader, his preoccupation with moral concepts. His background was a religious one. His family were Unitarian and, while he was formally as unchurched as Emerson, he evidenced throughout his life a marked tendency toward the early New England Calvinistic concept of an unapproachable, transcendent God. It was, finally, because of this trilogy of spiritual influences, each of which claimed his attention for a time, that Hawthorne was forced to look beneath the verbal assertions of man and lay bare the whole of his human nature.