The Scarlet Letter And The Puritans Essay

, Research Paper

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne expresses the facets of relationships, faith, community, subject and penalty in the puritan community of seventeenth century Boston.

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Relationships between work forces and adult females were really forced and that is what made criminal conversation such a bad wickedness in the eyes of everyone in the community. Religion seemed to regulate over all, people would look up to clergymans and the community believed that destiny was their fate. Public subject and penalty were used to deter everyone else from perpetrating the same offense or wickedness as the piquing & # 8220 ; condemnable & # 8221 ; did. The community was to follow the beliefs of God and to make their responsibilities the best they could ; yet they besides criticize and penalize all that disobeyed the faith or Torahs. In seventeenth century Boston every thing was really rigorous and everyone was expected to follow the Torahs, which makes Hester & # 8217 ; s transgress such an first-class illustration of the beliefs of that clip period. The first scaffold scene is really of import because the scene sums up the beliefs of the general populace at that clip, and gives a prospective of what Hester Prynne must cover with. In the beginning of chapter two the scene is described as & # 8220 ; it could hold betokened nil short of the awaited executing of some celebrated perpetrator, & # 8221 ; ( 47 ) this shows that the whole town was at that place for a pitiless public penalty. The crowd was non at that place for an executing though, but at that place for a public penalty of Hester Prynne who had committed adultery. A townsman describes Hester & # 8217 ; s penalty to a alien as, & # 8220 ; they have doomed Mistress Prynne to stand merely a infinite of three hours on the platform of the pillory, and so thenceforth, for the balance of her natural life, to have on a grade of shame upon her bosom. & # 8221 ; ( 58 ) This scene shows the weight of values and ethical motives upon society in the seventeenth century and how public penalty was non merely used as penalty but as a manner to deter others from perpetrating the same offense. The community was cardinal in this penalty because it helped estrange Hester and farther her hurting. The penalty brings away Hester & # 8217 ; s underlying hurting, & # 8220 ; Hester sent Forth a call she turned her eyes downward at the vermilion missive, and even touched it with her finger, to guarantee herself that the baby and the shame were real. & # 8221 ; ( 55 ) This hurting is merely shown one time, yet throughout the whole narrative Hester must cover with the shame and emotional hurting of the vermilion missive. The alien sums it up best when he says, & # 8220 ; Thus she will be a living discourse against wickedness, until the black missive be engraved upon her tombstone. & # 8221 ;

Since faith was such a cardinal portion of their lives, anyone who did disobey their God was looked down upon. What makes faith dry in this narrative was how everyone expression

ed up to a clergyman that had committed the same wickedness as person they looked down upon badly. Dimmesdale says, “before the judgment-seat, thy female parent, and 1000, and I, must stand together! But daytime of this universe shall non see our meeting! ” ( 134 ) The clergyman knows his wickedness and wants be punished with Hester and Pearl, yet non until what he calls “judgement day.” In the seventeenth century, Puritans believed that there was a austere God who had decreed in progress the destiny of each individual for all clip. Therefore, there was non much people felt they could make to go a better individual in God’s eyes but make his staying with their occupations. To increase their opportunities of acquiring to travel to heaven the townsfolk would frequently acquire one measure closer to God by acquiring near to a spiritual leader, which was bad for Arthur Dimmesdale who was likely further off from God than everyone else because of his wickedness. Relationships were looked upon as something sacred and a adult female should be loyal to her hubby. Once married it was considered a atrocious discourtesy if you were non loyal to your partner.

& # 8220 ; They have non been bold to set coerce the appendage of our righteous jurisprudence against her. The punishment therefor is death. & # 8221 ; ( 58 ) A townsman explains that the punishment is decease for her offense ( demoing the abrasiveness of the seventeenth century ) , yet that the other party in the matter must hold played a strong function in alluring her, so they merely sentenced her to the missive on her thorax and three hours on the scaffold.

The alien shows how most people reacted when merely seeing one of the guilty two parties up on the scaffold ; & # 8220 ; it irks me, however, that the spouse of her wickedness should non, at least, stand on the scaffold by her side. & # 8221 ; Women still did non hold that many rights so anything Hester said in her defence would hold merely hold been ignored. Relationships were non supposed to be broken unless by divorce, even if the hubby was at the underside of the sea-where Hester & # 8217 ; s hubby was believed to be.

Through relationships, faith, community, subject and penalty the reader can acquire a better apprehension of what was expected of towns people in the seventeenth century. The Scarlet Letter shows the hurting and enduring a adult female went through when she broke her matrimony, and disobeyed her faith. She so was sentenced to a public penalty to be humiliated, tormented, and alienated by the community around her. The destiny driven spiritual society in seventeenth century Boston would non accept wickedness of any sort and the penalty for criminal conversation was decease. Alternatively, the community branded Hester Prynne with the missive & # 8220 ; A & # 8221 ; for the remainder of her life and made her base in forepart of the whole community as an illustration for everyone that wickedness and that corruptness was non accepted in their society.

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