The Importance Of The Puritan Culture In The Scarlet Letter

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For generations, authors have written stories in order to exploit the actions of a certain group or person. The Scarlet letter is a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne is no exception to this. This novel takes place in 1850 and follows main character, Hester Prynn, as she endures life in The Massachusetts Bay Colony with her daughter. The novel focuses the struggle of a mother who had a child out of wedlock and the reaction of the Puritan society in which she resides. This plot was selected by Hawthorne in order to express his own social commentary on the Puritan Culture at the time. Nathaniel Hawthorne critiques the harsh rules and punishments of the Puritan colony through the symbolic nature of the characters, his grim diction, and theme of the novel as a whole. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne…show more content…
This is done in order to create a dark and malevolent tone to associate with the Puritan Religion. This is first scene in Hawthorne’s introductory to the novel, when he describes of his ancestors as having, “ the Puritanic traits, both good and evil” (15). Here, Hawthorne introduces a negative connotation with the Puritan Religion by associating the word, “evil”, with the beliefs of Puritan Culture. From here on out, the audience views the Puritans as the antagonist of a peaceful society. Hawthorne then follows his beliefs expressed in his introduction when he displays how members of the Puritan Society treat Hester for going against the beliefs of their conservative views. As seen when Hawthorne states, “ that the mildest and severest acts of public discipline were alike made venerable and awful”(76). This description of Puritan discipline mirrors Hawthorne’s belief that Puritan Culture was so narrow-minded that all sins against their religion were treated so harshly that nobody was able to express any freedom of speech or

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