Free Scarlet Letter Essays: Puritanistic Elements

Free Scarlet Letter Essays: Puritanistic Elements

Length: 511 words (1.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Puritanistic Elements in The Scarlet Letter  


Puritanism was the religion practiced by the people of colonial Boston, the setting for Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.  It is because of the beliefs of the Puritan religion that Hester Prynne, the main character in The Scarlet Letter, is ostracized from the community.  Puritan ideals are often brought up in the book.  Although Hawthorne never outrightly states his position on Puritanism, it seems clear that he does approve of the religion.

The story begins with Hester in jail for adultery.  She is presented as a strong woman—she holds her head high and does not try to cover up the letter.  She stands up to her punishment, and neither the spectators nor her seem to suggest that she is being treated unfairly.  It seems strange that everyone would agree upon Hester’s sentence, since everybody rarely agrees on anything.  Because Hawthorne never speaks directly to the reader about his own opinions, it must be inferred from the characters what he thinks.  Thus, since Hester’s punishment is condoned by everyone, it must be assumed t...

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of famed novel, The Scarlet Letter, came from a long line of puritans. The family name of Hawthorne, was one of strict puritanistic ideals, which translated into topics covered in his literary works. When Hawthorne’s father died of yellow fever at sea when he was only four, his mother became overly protective and pushed him to isolation. All of Hawthorne’s fictional characters are believed to be figurative confrontations of good and evil. Almost all of his characters can be classified as one of these two types....   [tags: puritans, opinions, judgements]

Good Essays
898 words (2.6 pages)

Elements of Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter Essay

- Elements of Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter 200 Words of Teacher’s Praise and Comments Nathaniel Hawthorne uses several literary devices to give his novel The Scarlet Letter depth. One of these devices is symbolism. Hawthorne utilizes symbolism to convey certain points or themes to the reader by using ordinary objects. Three of the elements he uses as symbols are the settings of the Puritan town and the forest and weather. The first of the two main settings is the Puritan town that includes the prison and the scaffold....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
1078 words (3.1 pages)

The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- A multitude of literary works possess much more information than an initial review reveals which is no accident on the author’s part. One author who epitomizes this method of writing is Nathaniel Hawthorne and his book The Scarlet Letter. Following a thorough review of the book, the underpinnings of literary elements reveal the way in which he incorporates his dynamic tone throughout the story, and, with extensive research, conclusions can be made as to why he wrote the novel. Exploring the latter topic allows analysts of all kind gain further insight on his character and its relation to the books content....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter]

Good Essays
1492 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

- Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale in the novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, struggle to go about life. The characters Hester and Dimmesdale both are ostracized in the story and run into complications with the puritan society and how its morals affect them. The literary elements symbolism, imagery, and setting emphasize the motivations and reactions with the conflict of individual vs. society. The “A” or scarlet letter is the ultimate symbol of the entire novel. Initially, the letter symbolized shame then shifted later in time....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Good Essays
1118 words (3.2 pages)

The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, a combination of various literary elements contribute to the academic value of the novel. Symbolism, imagery, and figurative language assist in conveying the tone of the events occurring in main character’s lives. From Hester’s first public appearance as a sinner to the A illustrated on her grave, she experiences mixed emotions both interpersonally and extrapersonally, defining why her story is one of highest regards. From the first scene on the scaffold, Hester’s scarlet letter and her intense shame define her character....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Good Essays
1071 words (3.1 pages)

The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- Children are, by nature, incredibly sensitive creatures. In literature and art they are commonly portrayed as beings capable of sensing the emotions experienced by the adults around them simply by observing one’s body language and facial expressions. Additionally, children are born with an innate sense of curiosity which drives them to discover the cause of the feelings they detect. Some children experience heightened levels of empathy and curiosity that can alienate them from their peers; such is the case with Nathanial Hawthorne’s Pearl Prynne in The Scarlet Letter....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Good Essays
1363 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne

- How does today’s society even compare to that of the time of the Puritans. It is obvious that the human race has emotionally developed and matured in all of this time, isn’t it. Occurring during an estimated 90 year period (1630-1720), Puritanism was a form of religion where its followers were discouraged from performing any form of sin. This included judgement, punishment, and isolation. Judgement is the act of forming an opinion based on observations or careful thought, and punishment is the imposition of a penalty based on the severity of an offense....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Good Essays
1292 words (3.7 pages)

The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- Some people find nature an escape from civilization. The wild, unsettled territory beyond the city or town limits may symbolize freedom and unconformity. This was true in the Puritan society in the 1850s, where citizens were heavily restricted by their theocratic government. However, in the woods outside of town the rules of the community no longer applied to them, and they could act freely without fear of judgment or persecution. By utilizing specific natural attributes, Hawthorne accentuates the story he wants to depict to his readers....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, Puritan]

Good Essays
835 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Feminism in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

- Written in 1850, The Scarlet Letter stood as a very progressive book. With new ideas about women, main characters’ stories intertwined, and many different themes, The Scarlet Letter remains today as a extremely popular novel about 17th century Boston, Massachusetts. Not only was the 19th century a time for the abolition of slavery movement but it was also the beginning of the first wave of feminism. Women such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott catalyzed the women’s rights movement....   [tags: the scarlet letter]

Good Essays
550 words (1.6 pages)

The Significance of the Letter in The Scarlet Letter Essay

- The Scarlet Letter: The Significance of the Letter             Adultery has been around almost as long as people. It has maintained a harsh punishment, from banishment to death, but in the Puritan world of colonial America (from about 1620-1640), its punishment may have been worse than either. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is a lonely Puritan woman who commits infidelity with a preacher and has a son from the untruthful union. To punish her for this act, the council of leaders forces her to wear a large “A” on her bosom, to let all know what she has done....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Good Essays
1821 words (5.2 pages)