The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

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For an attempt to purify a religious community of sin, the Puritans in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, have numerous faults due to their blindness of their own hypocrisy. Starting at the beginning of the text, women begin gossiping about Hester. The women talk about how Hester will cover her letter, how they wouldn’t take mercy on her as the magistrates have and how Reverend Dimmesdale,”her godly pastor, takes it very grievously to heart that such a scandal should have come upon his congregation” (Hawthorne 53). So because they also enjoy elaborate things, the children and virgin women do very un-Puritan like things, and how Dimmesdale himself is a hypocrite all show hypocrisy within the Puritan Society; however, children learn by how their parents act and what they do, so the Puritans within the text are following their religion by what their parents had taught them.
Puritans are supposed to live simple lives, wear drab clothing, live in simple houses with only the things they need and their church because individualism and self-expression through nice things “attacks and destroys all others and is at length absorbed in downright selfishness” (Young ¶1); however, the Puritan’s within the text enjoy elaborate things. Even Puritan leaders stray from simplicity and turned their eyes to more beautiful things. Governor Bellingham 's mansion, for example, is decorated with furniture that has “deep and cushioned seat[s]” with backs that are “elaborately carved with wreaths of oaken flowers” (Hawthorne 108). The hall’s main feature is a suit of armor that is of the “most modern date” and “manufactured by a skillful armorer” (109). The armor is “so highly burnished as to glow with white radiance,” (109) being so shiny that it ...


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..., have a certain amount of hypocrisy within them that is always present. For the Puritans, hypocrisy is found by enjoying elaborate things, children playing sinful games, virgins throwing themselves at their minister, and within the most looked up to member of the community himself. For the American society today, it could be things like living in the land of the free even though people are discriminated against for their religion and people saying that they are not racist even though they have been affiliated with a white supremacist group; however, that is a different topic in itself. The point is, Hawthorne is making a statement about hypocrisy within society during the text. He seems as though he is trying to make the audience more aware of hypocrisy in their society and themselves and possibly try to suggest that the audience pays attention to them as they are.

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