The Puritan Society Exposed In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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Literature is one of the most dynamic subjects known to today’s society. The world of literature is constantly evolving, bringing in new authors and genres as generations come and go. Writing as a discipline is made of many different and equally important parts, such as a riveting plot, relatable characters, and astonishing world building. Good literature makes one feel involved with the work, as opposed to being a stranger in a strange land. Good literature is what every author strives for when they set out to writing; they all want to be the next J.K. Rowling, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, or Brontë sister. According to Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner, good writing is constructed by analyzing the “problems of the human heart…show more content…
Puritan society was an intense and rigid community, a breeding ground for internal conflict. Their laws were strictly about living a just and moral life exactly as how it was written in the Bible, nothing more and nothing less. Breaking these rules tended to lead to intense guilt and self doubt, as evidenced by Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester Prynne, the protagonist, is ostracized and jailed for committing an adulterous act with the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, which resulted in the birth of Pearl. If not for Hester being pregnant, she would have been hanged for the offense, in spite of the fact that she had not seen her husband in over two years; to her the best of her knowledge, he was deceased since he had not yet joined her in the new world. However, had she revealed the name of Pearl’s father, rather than being jailed, he would have been hanged; therefore she chose the lie of omission in order to save him. Her penance, in order to let everyone know exactly what act she had committed, was to bear “on the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold-thread, … the letter A” (Hawthorne 132). By wearing this letter, her mark of shame, she essentially became “a living sermon against sin” (Hawthorne 158) and Pearl was the living embodiment of her sin. Her choice to brave the scarlet letter by herself and not share the burden with Dimmesdale is a sign of her strength and willingness to stand up for what she believed in, even if she stood
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