The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel HawthorneDelve into The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthornes meditation on human alienation and its effect on the soul in this story set in seventeenth-century Massachusetts and be dazzled by literature.
In Nathaniel Hawthornes dark novel, The Scarlet Letter, a single sinful act ruins the lives of three people. None more so than Hester Prynne, a young, beautiful, and dignified woman, who conceived a child out of wedlock and receives the public punishment of having to always wear a scarlet A on her clothing.
She refuses to reveal the father of her child, which could lighten her sentence. Her husband, the aptly-named Roger Chillingworth, who Hester thought had died in a shipwreck but was actually being held captive by Native Americans, arrives at the exact moment of her deepest public shaming and vows to get revenge. Her lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, remains safely unidentified, but is wracked with guilt.
Though originally published in 1850, the story is set in seventeenth-century Massachusetts among Hawthornes Puritan ancestors. In The Scarlet Letter, he created a story that highlighted both their weaknesses and their strengths. His knowledge of their beliefs and his admiration for their way of life was balanced by his concerns about their rigid and oppressive rules.
Complete and unabridged, this elegantly designed, clothbound edition features an elastic closure and a new introduction by Mike Lee Davis.
Hawthorne Critiques Puritan Society in His Works, Young Goodman Brown and The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne a considerable amount of time after the Puritan era. Throughout the novel, one can see criticism toward the hypocritical, intolerant, and judgemental characteristics of the Puritan religion. Hawthorne implies that the majority of the conflicts in the story are a result of the strictness of Puritan beliefs. One can see that this is true due to the fact that a jail and cemetery are readily available in the town where Hester lives. Hawthorne expresses that the Puritans are quick to place blame on one another. This shows that even the Puritan children have a disrespect for other religions.
Given Hawthorne's background, it is not a stretch of the imagination to say that his novels are critiques of Puritanism. Hawthorne lived in the deeply scarred New England area, separated from Puritanism by only one generation. His grandfather had been. A handful of Hawthorne's works are clear critiques of seventeenth century Puritan society in New England. Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown and The Scarlet Letter illustrate his assessment by showing internal battles within characters, hypocrisy in religious figures, atypical punishment for crimes, and accenting women's roles in Puritan society. Firstly, Hawthorne's literature often stresses internal battles in main characters. Seeing his fellow church members and his wife among women who were convicted and put to death for being witches makes Brown question himself.
Rating: Better Essays. Open Document. Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper. Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly. Better Essays words 3. Hawthorne illustrated different levels of his main idea through his three characters. Each of the main characters are guilty of one kind of sin such as sin of adultery Hester Prynne , sin of hypocrisy Arthur Dimmesdale and sin of vengeance Roger Chillingworth
Throughout the novel, one can see criticism toward the hypocritical, intolerant, Hawthorne's Criticisms of Puritan Society in The Scarlet Letter The Puritans' beliefs is that those who do not convert to their religion will most.
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Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter
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This was a close representation of the actual society. Their numbers were so large they ended up forming what is known today as the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The puritans had varying degrees of beliefs where society, religion and the family structure is concerned. They believed men were head of the household and made all important decisions, while women were just there to take care of housework. This great family structure kept everyone in line with God, and adultery or any kind of sexual sin was shunned severely.