Puritans In Nathanial Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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American novelist and short story author, Nathanial Hawthorne, in his symbolic novel, The Scarlet Letter, describes the Puritans and their community. Hawthorn’s purpose is to convey the idea that, despite the contrary, the Puritans were not able to recognize the unjustness of their society and immoral treatment towards others. He adopts a bitter tone in order to disprove the common belief that Puritans were exemplary, pure, and innocent. Hawthorn begins Chapter Two of the Scarlet Letter, The Market Place, by depicting the scene. The scene takes place on Prison Lane, a street with a jail on one side and a stage for public executions and punishments held on the other. A crowd of people is waiting to see someone, “all with their eyes intently fastened on the iron-clamped oaken door.” For eyes to be intently fastened on a door is physically impossible, so Hawthorne uses it as a metaphor to demonstrate the crowd’s eagerness to see who will be coming out from the other side of the door. The “iron-clamped oaken door” can be split into three parts, the “iron-clamped” characteristic of the door, the “oaken” characteristic of the door, and the “door” itself. The door, itself, symbolizes a threshold separating nature and society. The…show more content…
The words “grim rigidity” emphasizes Hawthorne’s perspective of the Puritans, portraying their severity as forbidding and uninviting. The word “petrified,” defined as the act of being so terrified one could simply not move, is used to define other’s fear of the Puritans. Hawthorne’s animosity towards the Puritans is highlighted with his negatively loaded
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