The portrayal of the 17th century puritan society in nathaniel hawthornes the scarlet letter

Jane Richardson Posted date: June 14, in: Based in a New England town, The Scarlet Letter points out the way in which women are treated in the puritan world and the way in which earthly sins are severely punished. Set in the 17th century, Nathaniel Hawthorne presents the society as strict with Christian-like rules and principles to abide by.

His guilty conscience puts him through agony while he keeps the secret to himself; but his fear of shame and possible death prevents him from telling it to anyone. Why does his secret cause him so much pain?

It is because he lives in a Puritan society, in seventeenth-century Boston where the punishment of sin is strict and severe. Hawthorne first portrays Puritans in a bad light in the lengthy introductory, where he speaks of one of his Puritan ancestors.

It almost elevates the witches as heroes, and the Puritan judges who condemned them as the cruel, merciless enemies. In fact, this is not the last time in this book where Hawthorn portrays a sinner positively, and the person who condemns the sinner negatively.

However, these women say it is not enough. One insists that she should be branded on the forehead with a hot iron; another says she should be put to death! Later in the story, Puritans are revealed as being narrow-minded, and basically closed to all views and lifestyles other than their own.

This gives us a hint at what their hearts may have been like; because if they judged people for simply dressing the wrong way, than how much more judgmental and narrow-minded might they have been toward people who committed more serious sins?

Even though he presents them with obvious proof, they stubbornly hold on to what they think. Unfortunately, he dies on the spot after admitting his secret, so he never gets a chance to set the unbelievers straight.

The portrayal of the 17th century puritan society in nathaniel hawthornes the scarlet letter

In addition to making the Puritans look like people of bad character, Hawthorne portrays them as visually unlikable people. The only person that is associated with beauty is the adulterer, Hester.

Hawthorne says of her: She had dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam, and a face which, besides being beautiful from regularity of feature and richness of complexion, had the impressiveness belonging to a marked brow and deep black eyes.

The portrayal of the 17th century puritan society in nathaniel hawthornes the scarlet letter

Hawthorne repeats again and again throughout The Scarlet Letter the cruelty, judgmental attitude, narrow-mindedness, and numerous unlikable features of the Puritans.

He shows them as condemning sinners mercilessly, refusing to accept ideas that are foreign to their ways of living or thinking, and being physically — and inwardly — ugly. However, his portrayal of Puritans is probably inaccurate, or at least exaggerated.

The real Puritans had many of the wholesome traits and values that went into the founding of this nation. Unbelievers often assume that Christians are self-righteous and unforgiving, but we know this stereotype goes against what the Bible teaches.is shown throughout The Scarlet Letter.

While the puritan community shows nothing but hatred and disbelief towards Hester Prynne and Dimmesdale, Nathaniel Hawthorne makes the readers seem as if there's compassion and sympathy.

Hester Prynne Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter, a dark tale of sin and redemption,centers around the small Puritan community of Boston during the 17th century.

In the midst of this small community is Hester Prynne. Nathaniel Hawthorne: Nathaniel Hawthorne, American novelist and short-story writer who was a master of the allegorical and symbolic tale.

The Scarlet Letter; A Criticism of Puritan Beliefs

One of the greatest fiction writers in American literature, he is best known for The Scarlet Letter () and The House of the . Based in a New England town, The Scarlet Letter points out the way in which women are treated in the puritan world and the way in which earthly sins are severely punished.

Set in the 17 th century, Nathaniel Hawthorne presents the society as strict with Christian-like rules and principles to abide by. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Diction of The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne presents the reader with the harsh, life changing conflicts of three Puritan characters during the 17th century.

The Puritan Guilt in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Society Essay Words 8 Pages The time was the nineteenth century, a time of great prudishness in America but born a man Nathaniel Hawthorne that would put the Puritan society and their way to the test.

Pursuing the Truth: How Puritans are Portrayed in the Scarlet Letter: And Why It's Important Today