Hawthorne On Puritanism

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The Views of Hawthorne on Puritanism Nathaniel Hawthorne's knowledge of Puritanism and his close relationship with the religion has impacted his views on those in the society. Hawthorne is critical of the Puritans and he thinks that they are hypocrites for having rules and morals that they do not follow. He sees the underlying sin that others may not. Through his many writings he makes known to his readers that everyone is guilty of sin. The Puritan's main goal was to save themselves from the sin in the world, but Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays their morals and society as troublesome through his works, "Young Goodman Brown," "The Minister's Black Veil," and The Scarlet Letter. Through the work of "Young Goodman Brown," Hawthorne is able to express his views of hypocrisy in Puritanism. Goodman Brown was convinced that his Puritan family was sinless and deserved to be honored. When traveling through the forest he says, "My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him. We have been a race of honest men and good Christians since the days of the martyrs" ("Young Goodman Brown" 238). What Goodman Brown does not know is that his previous generations have taken part in these sinful actions that occurred in the woods. Although Brown's ancestors were supposedly righteous Puritans, they were involved in lashing a Quaker woman and setting fire to an Indian village, according to the traveler speaking with Brown. Through these stories that the traveler tells, Hawthorne makes known to his readers that Puritan's are hypocrites because they say they are holy and pure when in reality they are committing impious actions. Throughout this story Young Goodman Brown takes his journey through the woods and sees nearly eve... ... middle of paper ... ... like Hester. He is implying that she is the victim and that the Puritans are actually at fault for this sin. Hawthorne's main goal is to convey the Puritans as sinful and unholy. He does not approve of the sin they hide and he thinks there should be punishment for their actions. To Hawthorne there are many problems in Puritan society. He exposes their transgressions of secret sin and hypocrisy. Hawthorne was haunted by his Puritan past, as he saw all the sins and immoral acts that the society committed. He expresses that everyone sins, no matter how holy or pious they may appear. Hawthorne points out their unrighteousness despite the Puritans claim to be pious. He sees no benefits in being involved in the society. Hawthorne expresses his negative views on Puritanism through his three works, "Young Goodman Brown," "The Ministers Black Veil," and The Scarlet Letter.
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