What Is The Role Of The Puritans In The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, set in the time period of 1642, is about a young women by the name of Hester Prynne who had a baby with a preacher, who was not her husband. The people in her town send her to jail and later decided her punishment was to wear a scarlet letter “A”, for adultery, for the rest of her life. The day she is punished her husband, Roger Prynne, shows up in Boston, after he was believed to be dead for two years sailing from Europe to Boston. Roger Prynne convinces everyone that he is a doctor by the name of Dr. Roger Chillingworth and tries to kill the pastor for what he had done with his wife. The 1800’s was a time with many important highs and many tragic lows the had really shaped our country into …show more content…
Nathaniel Hawthorne had a strong connection with his Puritan ancestors and created this story that both points out their weaknesses and their strengths. He knows of their beliefs which caused him to have a bad view upon them. The Scarlet Letter shows his attitude toward these Puritans of Boston in his way of describing the characters, his plot, and the themes of his story. Hawthorne is acknowledging the severity of the Puritans punishments without exaggerating. He believes that God should be the ultimate judge and so do the Puritans; the Puritans believe they have the right to shun or punish or sometimes even kill another person for going against what the Bible says, but is not that also sinning? For example, Anne Hutchinson was a Puritan women and was excommunicated for challenging Puritans authority as the chosen ones. She also believed that people should still respect the different beliefs of other Christians. In Keeping a Puritan Order, it stated that, “Robert Marshall being accused for being Atheist” Marshall was put into prison for just believing in what he thought. The Puritans did not care what you thought or believed as long as it was not anything but the Puritan …show more content…
However he makes a point by saying that the punishments made upon those sins also are a sins in itself. Hawthorne is not judging people for sinning, he is discussing that it should be left up to God or a higher power to judge the sins. The purpose of this book is to show that human beings can be very misunderstood on the surface of a messed up society, and can be made to suffer. Puritanism was not a good spiritual path to follow, as it led to unjustified outrage and ridiculous punishment, and not always against the right

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