Puritans In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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Hawthorne first portrays Puritans as people who are remembered to be intolerant. In the Custom-House Introduction, the narrator described his ancestors as the perfect examples of a Puritan. Quakers, who held a different belief than Puritans, were heavily persecuted by one of the narrator’s ancestors, who the Quakers remembered as having “hard severity towards a woman of their sect” (Custom-House, 12). However, the narrator also notes on how his ancestors contained both the good and evil traits of Puritans, signifying that Hawthorne did not believe that Puritans were completely evil. The narrator’s ancestor who bitterly persecuted Quakers would not be remembered by his better deeds, although there were many (Custom-House, 12). Intolerance of religion also arose in Chapter 1. Anne Hutchinson had formed a religious discussion group, where she proposed ideas against the orthodox Puritan beliefs. Hutchinson was sentenced to banishment from the colony (Notes 233).
Puritan intolerance toward sin was shown during Hester’s first appearance. A group of women were dissatisfied with Hester’s punishment. The punishment was to wear the letter “A”, standing for adulterer, on her chest for the rest of …show more content…

Hester’s “A” was an elaborate needlework, with fine red cloth and flourishes of gold thread. As luxurious as it was, the “A” went greatly beyond what was allowed by the sumptuary regulations. This showed how the Puritans did not allow the fashionable styles of the world. Additionally, the commander on the ship that Hester and Dimmesdale planned to take wore an abundance of ribbons, gold lace, and a feather on his hat. If the commander had been a citizen of Boston, he would have received a stern questioning from the magistrate, a fine, imprisonment, or a shaming at the stocks (Chapter 21, pg 203). The Puritans were an isolated society who thought that all worldly ideas, even fashion, were

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