Essay on Scarlet Letter

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Scarlet Letter The Puritan Beliefs As Told Through The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne was not a Puritan. But Hawthrone’s forefathers were Puritans, so he had an understanding of their belief system and their basis behind it. He stated that he hoped the sins of his forefathers had been forgiven. Hoping to expose those ideas which he understood, yet despised, Hawthorne purposely presented many important Puritan beliefs as import aspects to the Scarlet Letter. In the Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne addresses three main Puritan beliefs: providence, predestination, and the strict code of ethics that the settlers of New Englanders lived by. The first main Puritanical belief Hawthorne referred to was the belief in divine providence.…show more content…
A second Puritan belief referred to in the Scarlet Letter is the idea of predestination. Predestination is the belief that God has a plan for all his people and no matter how hard one works to change that outcome, it will eventually be. The townspeople when Dimmesdale falls ill falsely believe it to " come forth out of the conflict, transfigured with the … glory…" (110). And since this earthly minister was chosen as a battleground for the conflict between good and evil, he was predetermined to rise to a saintly post in the heavens. Upon his death, Dimmesdale states "… it is vain to hope that we could meet… in an everlasting and pure reunion. God knows…" (226). And if God is the ultimate judge of his fate and knows Dimmesdale’s fate, it seems logical that Dimmesdale’s fate is already predetermined. The final belief of Puritan society mentioned by Hawthorne is the strict code of ethics. The Puritans believed that every sin should be meet with an earthly punishment and well as a spiritual punishment. The earthly punishment would often involve public humiliation. Harsher punishments would often involve extended public infamy. The scarlet letter is an excellent example. As Roger Chillingworth said : " I can imagine a scheme of vengeance… so that this… burning shame may blaze upon thy bosom" (61). Along with Hester’s letter, was Roger Chillingworth for choosing to keep his

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