An analysis of the puritan ideals in the novel the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

Their chief complaints were that the services should be simpler and that religion should contain an intense spiritual relationship between the individual and God.

Nathaniel hawthorne and puritans

Take heed how thou deniest to him — who, perchance, hath not the courage to grasp it for himself — the bitter, but wholesome, cup that is now presented to thy lips! Hawthorne, N. It is this colony that forms the setting of The Scarlet Letter. Seven years have gone since they met each other last time. Hawthorne was born on July 4, in Salem, Massachusetts. Before proceeding to the analysis of the Puritanism in the novel, some fundamental definitions need to be established. The reverend who had committed the same sin still own high reputation but Hester was looked down upon severely. Hester could be a perfect figure to be an example to the society what the sinner looks like and what the sinner gets. But under the doctrine of the Puritanism, it is impossible because Hester is strongly requested to be faithful to her husband whether he is alive or dead.

Although it is believed that her husband has been dead, Hester is still not allowed to have love affairs with other men. Meanwhile, by analyzing the main character Hester, the thesis will present the harshness and the strict punishment in Puritan society.

What can thy silence do for him, except it tempt him —yea, compel him, as it were —to add hypocrisy to sin?

Nathaniel hawthorne quotes on puritanism

Partly this is so because God has never been a very real presence in her life. Although the Puritans believed that their destiny was predetermined and their actions did not matter, they still strove to be good citizens and prove their strength to God. In other words, it might conclude every sin cannot be forgiven and forgetful, the sinner will go directly to hell. They made a virtue of qualities that made for economic success—self-reliance, frugality, industry, and energy, and through them influenced modern social and economic life. It is this colony that forms the setting of The Scarlet Letter. The covenant of work, on the contrary, depended only on human action. Work, even if it did not guarantee salvation, was their way to express their faith and to show their hope for heaven. Hence, Hester as a sinner, according to the society, is considered a sinner that already violate the bible. These stern and introspective Puritans provided a rigid structure that was repressive to the individual but that enabled the colony to survive those early years when order and faith were needed. Thirteen years later, about 1, English settlers, largely the Puritans, had immigrated to the Boston area. The most obvious symbol in the novel is the actual scarlet "A" which both the criticism and I agree upon.

She talks with ancient pine trees, imagining them to be Puritan elders. If she entered a church, trusting to share the Sabbath smile of the Universal Father, it was often her mishap to find herself the text of the discourse.

Individual differences were frowned upon.

the scarlet letter setting

In rebellion against Puritanism, she achieves her goal and comes to understand that the society is not fixed by God in immutable law but is subject to change.

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Essay on The Scarlet Letter: An Analysis of Puritanism and Sin