Hawthorne's Salem background with the Doctrine of Original Sin is developed
through excerpts from the scholarship of Margaret Moore's The Salem World
of Nathaniel Hawthorne.
"It should be emphasized that the years of Hawthorne's youth were the very time of the most decided and heated controversy between the orthodox Congregationalists . . . and the emerging Unitarians . . . [who] . . . differed on the question of whether mortals were basically good or intrinsically evil" (103).
"In contrast to Calvinists, Unitarians believed, for the most part, in the individual goodness of man . . . . Nathaniel . . . believed in sin . . ., or the ineradicable evil that seemed to persist in man" (114).
"Secular Hawthorne's writings are not; they exude an "instinct of faith" that may be fractured, but that retains a vitality reacting to or drawn from the very air of Salem" (122).