The Puritan Guilt in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Society Essay

1993 Words 8 Pages
The time was the nineteenth century, a time of great prudishness in America but born a man Nathaniel Hawthorne that would put the Puritan society and their way to the test. A Puritan is one who follows the English Protestant lifestyle and someone who adheres to strict religious principle; also one who has a strong regard for pleasure sex and nudity. (Webster’s Dictionary, 2003) Born on July 4th 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts and of Puritan decent himself, Nathaniel Hawthorne and his family experienced intense harassment during their time.(Hoeljte, pps 25-26) Experiences that today make Hawthorne not only a great author, but very well liked by readers as well. Nathaniel attended a prestigious school with the aid of wealthy family …show more content…
Many of Hawthorne’s works deal with religion and his characters often have to struggle with their beliefs. It could be suggested that Hawthorne too was not comfortable in his religion and in ways renounced it through his writing. Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays the ideology of Puritan society in the novel the Scarlet Letter; however reader also get to witness his characters being an illustration of hypocrisy and victims to their own guilt. In the Scarlet Letter, as in many of Hawthorne’s shorter works, he makes profuse use of the Puritan past: its odd exclusionary belief, its harsh code of ruling, its concern with sex and witchcraft. The Scarlet Letter is a story that is embellished but yet simple. Many readers may view this novel as a soap opera due to the way Hawthorne conveys this Puritan society’s sense of strictness and inability to express true emotion along with the secrecy and how deceiving the characters are being. As the story unfolds the main character Hester Prynne is bounded in marriage at an early age. She engages in an adulterous affair with an unknown member of their small village. Hester soon becomes pregnant and with her husband’s absence the chances of this child belonging to her husband are slim. The towns’ people know that she has committed a sin and imprisons her for her crime. The child is born and Hester is forced to sew an “A” for adultery into her dress. This is too shame her and make her feel guilty about her crime. Hester is
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