The Puritan Society In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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The Puritan society in Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter stands on very strict and oppressive beliefs. Their beliefs center around the ideas of inescapable sin, predestination, and limited atonement. Hawthornes uses iron links and chains to assert that the confines of the puritanical beliefs, which bind people to their sin, hinder one 's true expression of their individuality.

In Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses iron to represent the permanent stake that has embedded itself into the puritan’s culture leaving the bleak ideals to forever haunt everyone in the community. When Hawthorne first introduces Hester Prynne she is leaving the prison. As the first building that was built in the community, the prison was a constant necessity to the puritans, with their very beliefs revolving around sin and retribution. Hawthorne describes the door as being so old that “The rust on the ponderous iron work [...] looked more antique then any thing else in the new world,” (Hawthorne 45). This allows Hawthorne to illustrate that the prison door is a timeless symbol in the forever changing world around it. It holds the same symbolic meaning that every prison door did hundreds of years ago: confinement from the rest of society. After the confession from Arthur Dimmesdale, the book concludes that Hester returned to the puritan community freely and not even “sternest magistrate of that iron period would have imposed it,” (###). Though Hester Prynne has
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