Puritan Society In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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In the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne harshly criticizes Puritan society. From hypocrisy to forgiveness, Hawthorne uses hidden messages and motifs to express his criticism of society and to spread his messages. A social judgement explored by Hawthorne is that a majority perspective stifles individuality.
Dimmesdale best exemplifies the social judgement presented in the novel. Puritanical society’s ideals suppress Dimmesdale’s desire to come out as a sinner because he has a status he isn’t willing to give up. Public humiliation for sins was prominent in puritanical times and people wanted to avoid it at all costs. However, in his attempts to preserve his reputation and hide his identity, he deteriorates his mental health and allows
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Hawthorne especially makes obvious the parallel between Hester and Eve and Dimmesdale and Adam. While they are the two most obvious relations, other characters in the story play a part Hawthorne explores the motif of good versus evil in The Scarlet Letter, and it is a classic motif present in the famous story of Adam and Eve. The opening scene presents Hester on the scaffold, receiving the punishment of a scarlet letter “A”. Her community describes her as sinful by nature, which was a common description of women during puritanical times. By the first scene, Hester can be scene as a parallel to Eve. Hester is perceived as sinful while standing on the scaffold, just as Eve was after eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil before Adam had. Hester’s banishment is also similar to Eve’s, both mentally and physically. Hester and Eve must face confrontation with a judgmental figure and experience banishment from a society in which they had lived. Arthur Dimmesdale, a religious leader in the novel, exhibits traits of Adam in Adam and Eve. Unlike Hester, Dimmesdale decides to conceal his secret for seven years due to his need to preserve his reputation. Dimmesdale parallels Adam because just as Adam hid his sin from God, Dimmesdale hid his sin from his society. Adam is discovered by God after trying to hide, but confesses to God that he had eaten the forbidden fruit. While Dimmesdale does confess his sin, he does it to a different kind
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