When you think of a Puritan society, what comes to your mind? Perfect, flawless, and a religion based on following God? Well, that is what it says on paper, but is it really that perfect? Throughout the Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne jabs at the Puritans in an attempt to portray just how flawed they really are. After reading the book, you want to think that Hawthorne is telling the story of sinning in a Puritan society. However, as you dig deeper, you will see Hawthorne’s true purpose for writing the novel. In the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses irony to criticize the Puritan ideals.
The Scarlet Letter written by author Nathaniel Hawthorne is an American novel based on sin and the act of Adultery. This novel is based on the early days of the Massachusetts colony and shows how differently crimes are approached then from now. Hester Prynne commits the unfaithful crime of Adultery and not only does she have to serve for her punishment, but her daughter serves for it as well. Pearl, the symbol of an act of forbidden love and passion has to live with being the reminder of her mother 's misconduct for her entire life. Growing up in a small town with her reputation, it is hard for Pearl to have any kind of normality in her life.
Fault, Youth, and Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter The majority of society bases their perception of an individual on wealth, appearance, name, family--an infinite number of things. What if one was told that his or her own brother, sister, best friend, or even their mom or dad was a murderer? How would he or she react? What would they do?
The Puritan belief and lifestyle plays a major role in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter. The story takes place in Puritan New England, and opens with a scene presenting to the audience that a young woman named Hester Prynne has committed adultery. Wearing her punishment proudly, a scarlet letter “A” on her breast, Hester continues to live in New England where she raises her daughter and creates an embroidering business for herself. All the while, in the heart of the town, Hester’s lover and the child’s father, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale silently suffers and is ultimately overcome with guilt from his secret sin until the point of death.
When members of society do not conform, they are often treated differently. Those who are rebels, those who break the rules and do not fit into the status quo, become outcasts to society. These castaways are often avoided, ignored, and disrespected by societal figures. Modern society is easily said to have multiple different expectations for its affiliates, in relation to physical ideals, emotional processes, and intelligence levels. Societies’ essential goals for human life are everywhere; magazines, television, radio, the internet, and even on everyday streets. The pressure to be ‘perfect’ is strong, however very difficult to attain. However, most people, if not all, do strive to be successful in meeting these qualities of perfection, whether
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a novel that focuses on sin in the Puritan society. Hawthorne revolves the theme around the four main characters Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, Roger Chillingworth., and Pearl. Hester Prynne is forced to wear the scarlet letter ‘A’ after committing adultery against her husband Roger Chillingworth, with the minister Arthur Dimmesdale. As a result an odd child is born.
In the novel the Scarlet Letter the author Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes setting, allusion, characterization and symbolism to support his theme of independence of a women who was able to keep her dignity even when people were constantly putting her down.
Often times, we interpret a novel at its face value, only reading the text on the page instead of really delving into the true meaning behind that text. Since that meaning is not explicitly stated, different readers can develop different interpretations of the same text. This idea of repeated hidden meanings throughout a novel is classified as a motif, and most of the time motifs are used in order to subtly convey ideas to the reader through seemingly plain text. In the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses motifs and symbols to convey subtle ideas, one example being his harsh criticism of Puritan culture. One of the most prominent motifs in his novel is the Black Man, an imaginary being who Hawthorne equates to the devil.
Throughout The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne exposes the blindness of the Puritan people through the treatment of Hester, Chillingworth, and Dimmesdale’s external characters. Hester Prynne is labeled as an adulteress and mistreated by society because of their unwillingness to see her true character. Chillingworth, the husband of Hester, leads the town to believe he is an honorable man and skillful doctor, when his true intents root from his vindictive nature Finally, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, Hester’s lover and the father of her baby, acts as the perfect man therefore the town views him as an exemplar model, while he is truly a sinner. In the novel, Hawthorne portrays Hester as a strong, resilient woman, though the members of her community
Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a multitude of imagery and symbolism to serve as metaphors for different themes in his novel The Scarlet Letter. The theme sin versus guilt, appears often throughout the novel. It is often accompanied by the symbol of the scarlet letter, serving as a constant reminder of the guilt each of the main characters carry, as a result of the sins they have committed. Hester Prynne, Roger Chillingworth and Arthur Dimmesdale each carry the burden of living a tainted life, being that they have all committed a sin. Hester and Dimmesdale both committed the ultimate sin of adultery.
The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was published in 1850. It focuses on the life of the main protagonist, Hester Prynne, living in a Puritan community. Both Yamin Wang and Maria Stromberg offer insight into The Scarlet Letter and analyze multiple aspects of the story.. Both Wang and Stromberg claim that there is an underlying ideology hidden in the texts of the book. Wang approaches the story from a feminist approach and states that Hester represents the feminism in the Puritan community, and she analyzes the Puritan’s outlook on women in their society.
Literary Devices in The Scarlet Letter Literary devices are often used to capture a reader’s attention in a text. Nathaniel Hawthorne used many different types of literary devices in his book The Scarlet Letter. He uses symbolism to give hidden meaning to elements in the story, conflict to make the story interesting, and allusion to make references to historical events (ex. biblical references). While reading The Scarlet Letter, the literary devices did not jump out at me, but now as I reflect upon them they help me understand the book well. Literary devices can make a passage have a whole different meaning.
Hester is accused of being unfaithful to her husband, Roger Chillingworth, despite his absence from her life for a long period of time. During one of Roger’s extended absences, Hester conceives a child born out of sin with Arthur Dimmesdale. Arthur Dimmesdale is a local holy man and is never exposed for his sin, while Hester is frequently mistreated, and eternally punished with a scarlet “A” marked on her clothing to represent Adulterer. Hester talks about wearing the “A”, and resents the fact that it may be pointed at as a sign of weakness. Hester says, “giving up her individuality, she would become the general symbol at which the preacher and moralist might point, and in which they might vivify and embody their images of woman's frailty and sinful passion” (91 Hawthorne).
In the “Scarlet Letter,” Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays hypocrisy of the Puritan society, where the protagonist Hester Prynne face many consequences of her actions and the how she tries to redeem herself to the society. During the seventeenth puritans believe that it is their mission to punish the ones who do not follow God’s word and it is their job to stop those from sinning. Therefore, the hypercritical puritan society punishes Hester harshly for committing adultery, but in Hester’s mind, she believes that what she did was not a sin but acts of love for her man. Eventually, she redeems herself by turning her crime into an advantage to help those in need, yet the Puritan society still view her as a “naughty bagger.” (Hawthorne 78)
Nathaniel Hawthorne, a famous American author from the antebellum period, notices the emphasis on individual freedoms in the works by Ralph Waldo Emerson and other Transcendentalists during his residency in the Brook Farm’s community. In response to these ideas, Hawthorne writes The Scarlet Letter, a historical novel about Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale’s lives as they go through ignominy, penance, and deprecation from their Puritan community to express their strong love for each other. Their love, even though it is true, is not considered as holy nor pure because of Hester past marriage to Roger Chillingworth, and thus Hester gained the Scarlet Letter for being an adulterer. Hawthorne utilizes biblical allusions, such as the stories of