Puritanism in The Scarlet Letter, Bartleby, and Daisy Miller

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In today's society, it is infrequent that you turn on the television and are not bombarded with images of sex, violence, or other content that the Puritans would have viewed as being the work of Old Deluder (the name given to Satan in the time period). Yes, it is true; the society in which we dwell in today is no more remarkable than that of barbaric times. The only difference might be that we no longer kill out of primal instinct; we do it out of fear, or malice, or patriotism, or even pleasure. Thus, we are faced with the question of whether or not today's society would experience benefits if a conversion to Puritanism was made or drown in its waters. Because Puritanism conformed to such austere guidelines and beliefs…show more content…
Therefore, there were strict boundaries in which Puritans were allowed to think. I believe that if thinkers like Einstein and Newton were never given the freedom they wanted to explore the scientific realm of the world, the human race today would not have benefited from what "free radicals" throughout history have discovered and contributed. Granted, the world might be a more peaceful place if the atomic bomb had never been invented or if Hitler never published Mien Kempf, but this turmoil ultimately made the human race stronger through time. Learning from mistakes is what makes us human, not striving for perfection without failure (as the Puritans believed). Because of this I believe that Puritanism essentially strives to manipulate people into something that is unnatural and contrived.

Puritanism also stresses thought conformity as well as social submission. In fact, Puritanism restricted any religious freedom believing that only their practices were what God intended. This not only impedes societies' rights as citizens (stated in the first ten amendments to the Constitution), but also inevitably causes rebellion and a disturbance of peace as delineated in Daisy Miller by Henry James, A&P by John Updike, and The Maypole of Merry Mount by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In Daisy Miller, an American girl is portrayed in her struggle against European traditionalism. The situation, though

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