Puritanism, Romanticism And Transcendentalism In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Although Puritanism, Romanticism and Transcendentalism do not coexist peacefully, these almost worldview kind of people groups are deeply embedded into three fictional characters from the book, The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. This enthralling and rich classic which takes place in Boston Massachusetts during the time of Puritanism gives the reader not only a taste of the Puritans and their staunch attitude, but also of a less common way of thinking and behaving which is expressed through a certain character in the book. The three main characters in this book are all diversely different but are bound tightly together by a long kept secret and discovering their methods of thinking and acting upon…show more content…
Although one might be tempted to say that Dimmesdale most represents a Puritan belief, towards the end of the book his views seem to change as mercy and tenderness are shown to him and his rigid views of God and man melt away.
Romanticism is quite the opposite of Puritanism and was a movement of liberal thinking. Its characteristics reflected upon nature, beauty and the imagination of all things beautiful. As it began in 1770 many people were captivated by its more appealing attributes whereas religious Puritans rejected it as heresy. The much more romantic thought process hence the name of the period, inflicted a sense of grace and attractiveness to the world. The people who were impacted by the movement also believed in a more gracious and loving God, and one whom they could experience a personal relationship with. Furthermore the absolute distinct characteristics of Romanticism are far from parallel to Puritanism.
Hester Prynne, who is best known for her act of adultery and the scarlet letter she wears upon her breast, best represents a mix of Romanticism and Puritanism. Introduced in the beginning of the book, she automatically is outcast from the rest, not only because of her act of adultery and sin, but from her obvious different way of thinking. After Hester’s baby named Pearl is born, she can especially be shown to have more of a Romantic way of thought as she raises

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