Puritanism In The Scarlet Letter Essay

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"The settlers may win and incite the Natives of the Country to the Knowledge and Obedience of the only true God and Savior of Mankind, and in the Christian Faith, which is our Royal Intention and the Adventurers free Profession, is the principle End of the Plantation." Massachusetts Bay Colony Charter in 1629. Some argue that Puritanism is not only a religion, but also a democratic philosophy. Puritans developed a new society model that attaches great importance to morals and spirit. They advocate real freedom which was different from England where they faced destruction and contempt. Freedom of belief was denounced as blasphemy against authority. Puritanism may seem like peaceful liberalism, however, there are some negative and inhumane traditions…show more content…
However, his criticism of this idea is obvious in narrator’s comments about the portraits on the wall in Governor Bellingham 's house. He describes them "as if they were ghosts, rather than the pictures, of departed worthies, and were gazing with harsh and intolerant criticisms at the pursuits and enjoyments of living men" (Hawthorne 157). A belief in the Puritan ethic, Predestination, that man 's fate is set when he is born is also mentioned in the book. One of the Reverends, Mr. Dimmesdale, who had an affair with Hester Prynne, uses the term "Were it God 's will" to ask Roger Chillingsworth whether or not he should admit publicly to the adultery. Dimmesdale says "I could be well content that my labours, and my sorrows, and my sins, and my pains, should shortly end with me, and what is earthly of them be buried in my grave, and the spiritual go with me to my eternal state, rather than you should put your skill to the proof on my behalf." (Hawthorne 182). Hester Prynne and The Reverend Dimmesdale 's affair becomes the center of attention of the 17th century community in Boston. Hester is the woman who is carried before the court of community opinion and justice. This Puritan public believes that all men have stumbled and all men are sinners. For her sin, Hester is sentenced to wear the scarlet letter “A”. This “A” represents adultery and it is Hester 's insignia of dishonor and sin…show more content…
Because Hester 's daughter, Pearl, is the result of adultery she is viewed as someone to be avoided by the Puritan community. The Puritan idea and tradition in society abhorred sin. Hawthorne states "Be true! Be True! Be True! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!" (Hawthorne 387). Being true means being honest since we all are sinners. The Puritans, however, are not externally happy people. They are not accepting or forgiving of people who do wrong or commit sin. Hester 's letter “A” meant to be a symbol of adultery and sin, but it does not mean that to her. Hester discards the meaning of the A as adultery, shame and sin. Her stitching of the “A” on her clothing shows that she is not ashamed of the letter of negative mark. Hester feels somehow set free by her sin, but it is not because she is publicly chastised. Hester stood standing and very ladylike on the framework wearing the scarlet A. She did not hold herself in shame. Hawthorne writes about Hester, "She had wandered, without rule or guidance, into moral wilderness. Her intellect and her heart had their home, as it were, in desert places, where she roamed as freely as the wild Indian in his woods. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, despair, solitude! These had been her teachers-stern and wild ones-and they had made her
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