By describing the public official of the beadle in such a way, Hawthorne makes clear his negative opinion of the Puritan community. Critic David Sorrells writes that the beadle is a symbol of “moral evil” because he measures out punishments that are “hypocritical” but which the Puritan people sanction. Hawthorne describes the judges who sentence Hester in a similarly derogatory way: “They were, doubtless, good men, just, and sage. But, out of the whole human family, it would not have been easy to select the same number of wise and virtuous persons who should be less capable of sitting in judgment on an erring woman’s heart” (70). Again, by singling out the most respected members of the community for such harsh criticism, Hawthorne demonstrates that his opinion of the Puritan moral code is negative.
She receives three punishments from the townspeople, who claim they will free her from her sin. The community orders Hester to go to jail, wear a scarlet letter on her chest, and stand on the town scaffold for hours. Hester wears her scarlet letter proudly on her chest, and endures much suffering because of her public ridicule. Hester is “kept by no restrictive clause of her condemnation within the limits of the Puritan settlement” after she was released from prison, but she chooses to stay (Hawthorne 71). Later, Hester’s child, Pearl, symbolizes the Puritan view of Hester.
The Scarlet Letter, a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850, functions as an evaluation of Puritan ideas, customs, and culture during the 17th century. Through this evaluation, we can get a good idea of what core values and beliefs the Puritans possessed, as well as the actions they take in cases of adversity brought about by “sinners”. Some Puritan virtues created stark divisions between groups of people, some of which led to discrimination under certain circumstances. One of the most prominent of these is the treatment and standards of men and women, a concept that surfaced during some of the major points in The Scarlet Letter. The divisions that were created by Puritan standards of men and women played a great role in shaping the plot of The Scarlet Letter, determining the fate of many of the characters.
Symbolism Within The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne created symbolism throughout The Scarlet Letter in order to develop the theme throughout Hester’s life. Hester is portrayed as a sheltered soul, shunned from society due to her adulterous acts. The red A and her daughter, Pearl, are symbols of Hester’s shame which she bares proudly despite society's harsh judgements. Hawthorne is able to use symbolism to develop themes, characters, and analogies in the Scarlet Letter. One of the best signs of symbolism is repetition shown throughout the story.
Nathaniel Hawthorne played an important role in the American Romantic Movement. The Scarlet Letter is his masterpiece, in which he tells the story of a young, beautiful woman named Hester, who lives in the Puritan town of Boston. Hester is sentenced to wear the scarlet letter “A” on her dress, which signifies her adulterous affair. The product of this forbidden love is an insightful girl named Pearl. Hawthorne’s use of nature, emotion, and imagination in order to show the importance of individuality makes The Scarlet Letter a magnificent romantic novel.
Scarlet Letter provides a clear depiction regarding the idea and a conflict resulting from combating two different perspectives, self—reliance and puritan tradition. In this depiction, Hawthorn clearly shows the significance of self-reliance and the effects coming into the existence for not following this trend throughout the novel. As we see, Hester Prynne—the protagonist of the novel—shares her own individual perspectives. Besides her commitment to an adultery sin, she courageously and independently acts; although she is in isolation, she becomes the example of beauty, happiness, strength, and creativity. Opposite to self-reliance, puritan tradition is on the other side.
Scarlet Letter In the Novel The Scarlet Letter by, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote in the 1800’s, takes place in the 1600’s during puritan times. Puritanism is the believe that everyone is naturally born evil. Hawthorne teaches a lot of lessons threw symbolism. Symbolism is when the author makes a person or object have a deeper meaning. In his novel“The Scarlet Letter the symbolic significance of the Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale and Pearl to contribute to the theme of guilt.
The Scarlet letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne can be regarded a work of feminist literature. It is a story about Hester Prynne and her daughter and the hardship Hester had to go through in the Puritan society. The Puritan society then overlooked humanity and Puritan rules were imposed on the people. The narrator in the novel depicts women’s low status and the hardship in the puritan society during the seventeenth-century. Hawthorne emphases a unique character of exceptional courage, gender equality, non-conformity and self-reliance associated with a woman in the time when the society was not in favor of.
In the novel, Hester, a young woman involved in adultery after leaving her husband in Europe, is at the center of ridicule and exclusion from the rest of the Puritan community due to her actions. This ideology of community over the individual is prevalent throughout the book, and it has far-reaching effects on not only Hester but her daughter Pearl as well. One of the key forces behind the societal exclusion in The Scarlet Letter is the Puritan ministry. As one of the most powerful groups in New England in the 17th century, they exerted a large presence in local governments. According to Hall’s A Reforming People, Puritan presence in the government came suddenly along with the influx of colonists to New England: “Bringing with them a deep fear of arbitrary, unlimited authority, these settlers based their churches on the participation of laypeople and insisted on "consent" as a premise of all civil governance.
Amanda Vicente The Scarlet Letter Reading Response AP English Language Period J 16 August 2016 Journal Entry 1: Chapters 1-2 In The Scarlet Letter, the author sets a mood from the beginning of the book. The setting is old and beat up in front of an aged wooden prison with judgmental Puritans ready to tear a women apart. The Puritans are hypocrites and the author portrays that in the story. Nathaniel Hawthorne did not always speak positively toward the Puritans, but he has respect for the group. The main symbol that stands out is the scarlet letter “A” that was stuck on Hester Prynne for her actions of adultery which is a theme for this book.