Hawthorne held quite a bit of guilt over his family lineage, which included the infamous Judge John Hathorne, who presided over the Salem Witch Trials. Here are some of the tenets of Puritanism which Hawthorne’s ancestors believed guided their lives:
For students who are not familiar with the Adam and Eve story or the concept of Original Sin, consider having them read the story from Genesis 3.
This will help students understand that the Puritan (and modern Christian) belief that no one is born perfect, and that everyone sins. This concept is essential to understanding the allegory of the veil in this Nathaniel Hawthorne short story, "The Minister’s Black Veil".