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His knowledge of their beliefs and his admiration for their strengths were balanced by his concerns for their rigid and oppressive rules. The Scarlet Letter shows his attitude toward these Puritans of Boston in his portrayal of characters, his plot, and the themes of his story.
The early Puritans who first came to America in founded a precarious colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts. While half the colonists died that first year, the other half were saved by the coming spring and the timely intervention of the Indians. These first settlers were followed ten years later by a wave of Puritans that continued in the s and thereafter, until, by the s, New England had over twenty-five thousand English settlers.
The second group in the s settled in the area of present-day Boston in a community they named Massachusetts Bay Colony. It is this colony that forms the setting of The Scarlet Letter. Their chief complaints were that the services should be simpler and that religion should contain an intense spiritual relationship between the individual and God.
In England, the clergy and the government mediated in the relationship between the individual and God.
Because the Puritans chose to defy these assumptions, they were persecuted in England. A group of them fled to Holland and subsequently to the New World, where they hoped to build a society, described by John Winthrop, as "a city upon a hill" — a place where the "eyes of all people are upon us.
Hawthorne, of course, presents the irony of this concept when he describes the prison as a building already worn when the colony is only fifteen years old. Hawthorne's viewpoint of this society seems to be disclosed in several places in the novel but never more so than in the Governor's house in Chapter 7 and during the New England holiday in Chapter On Bellingham's walls are portraits of his forefathers who wear the stately and formal clothing of the Old World.
Hawthorne says that, "All were characterized by the sternness and severity which old portraits so invariably put on; as if they were the ghosts, rather than the pictures, of departed worthies, and were gazing with harsh and intolerant criticism at the pursuits and enjoyments of living men.
In the recounting of the New England holiday set aside to honor a change in government, Hawthorne describes the non-Puritan parade-goers in the most joyful of terms. Their dress, their behavior, and even the happiness on their faces is very un-Puritan-like.
He writes, with his pointed understatement, that "the Puritans compressed whatever mirth and public joy they deemed allowable to human infirmity; thereby so far dispelling the customary cloud, that, for the space of a single holiday, they appeared scarcely more grave than most other communities at a period of general affliction.
Consider the description he gives of them in his Custom House preface. He sees them, like the old General he describes, as people of perseverance, integrity, inner strength, and moral courage.
He also shares a concern for their disdain toward his need to take on a commercial job that contributes little to the community in spiritual profit. In addition, note Hawthorne's condemnation of the tax supervisor who has no sensibility or spiritual compass. Man and Salvation These early Puritans followed the writings of a French Protestant reformer named John Calvinwhose teachings saw the world as a grim conflict between God and Satan.
Calvinists were a very introspective lot who constantly searched their souls for evidence that they were God's Elect. The Elect were people chosen by God for salvation. According to Puritans, a merciful God had sent His son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die for the sins of man, but only a few would be saved.
The rest, known as the "unregenerate," would be damned eternally. The Puritans who settled Massachusetts Bay Colony believed that all mankind was depraved and sinful because of Adam and Eve's fall in the Garden of Eden.
Because Adam and Eve were willful and disobedient to God, they brought upon mankind the curse of depravity, sometimes called Original Sin. Church and State Those who were male and members of the church could vote.
In addition, ministers guided the elected officials of the colony; consequently, there was a close tie between Church and State. In The Scarlet Letter, those two branches of the government are represented by Mr.
The rules governing the Puritans came from the Bible, a source of spiritual and ethical standards. These rules were definite, and the penalties or punishments were public and severe.
Hester's turn on the scaffold and her scarlet letter were similar to those who were branded or forced to wear an M for murderer.
The stocks were a form of public indictment — and, therefore, deterrent — of bad behavior.
Moved Permanently. The document has moved here. The Scarlet Letter Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter is a classic American novel. It was first published in and is set in 17th century puritan Massachusetts. The Scarlet essay on scarlet letter how Letter: A short summary of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. | Cumberland Gap Parkway Harrogate, TN lpi essay level sample The Scarlet Pimpernel is the first novel in a series of historical fiction by Baroness Orczy, published in
Those who disagreed with the laws of the colony were banished, persecuted, and, in some cases, executed. Obviously, these rigid Puritan standards had both good and bad outcomes. The colony would not have survived without the faith, hard work, courage, and perseverance of these early religious believers.
They feared Indian attacks and had to survive lethal diseases, starvation, and the harsh New England winters. They also formed a society in which the rules were very clear. There were few gray areas in the standards of behavior expected by the Puritans and taught early to their children.Nathaniel Hawthorne’s historical novel The Scarlet Letter explores guilt, revenge, and redemption in colonial America.
Hawthorne blends supernatural elements with psychological insight in his story of one woman’s public punishment for adultery. Essay about Scarlet Letter.
they are today. The Scarlet Letter, a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was set in the mid 's in Boston, talks about how the sins that were committed by each characters is redeemed by themselves. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Famous for: That scarlet letter “A”, the tormented Reverend Dimmesdale, and fiendish husband Roger Chillingworth.
Hester and Arthur. Adam and Eve. The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter is a well known novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The novel is composed and written in Salem and Concord, as well as Boston, Massachusetts in the late 's.
The underlying sin that Hawthorne deals with in The Scarlet Letter is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is the practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess. All three main characters, Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth, commit the sin of hypocrisy.
The Scarlet essay on scarlet letter how Letter: A short summary of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. | Cumberland Gap Parkway Harrogate, TN lpi essay level sample The Scarlet Pimpernel is the first novel in a series of historical fiction by Baroness Orczy, published in