Christine Norvell 2 Fiction often clarifies our thinking about moral quandaries, distilling muddy waters into clear ones and dissecting our common human experience. The stories of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne do just this. In the scope of American literature, Melville and Hawthorne reflect both the reasoning of the Enlightenment and the emotional and spiritual influence of the British Romantics. Many Romantics felt that the power of the emotions, spiritual intuition, and even biblical belief could not be ignored.
His knowledge of their beliefs and his admiration for their strengths were balanced by his concerns for their rigid and oppressive rules.
The Scarlet Letter shows his attitude toward these Puritans of Boston in his portrayal of characters, his plot, and the themes of his story. The early Puritans who first came to America in founded a precarious colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
While half the colonists died that first year, the other half were saved by the coming spring and the timely intervention of the Indians. These first settlers were followed ten years later by a wave of Puritans that continued in the s and thereafter, until, by the s, New England had over twenty-five thousand English settlers.
The second group in the s settled in the area of present-day Boston in a community they named Massachusetts Bay Colony. It is this colony that forms the setting of The Scarlet Letter.
Their chief complaints were that the services should be simpler and that religion should contain an intense spiritual relationship between the individual and God. In England, the clergy and the government mediated in the relationship between the individual and God.
Because the Puritans chose to defy these assumptions, they were persecuted in England. A group of them fled to Holland and subsequently to the New World, where they hoped to build a society, described by John Winthrop, as "a city upon a hill" — a place where the "eyes of all people are upon us.
Hawthorne, of course, presents the irony of this concept when he describes the prison as a building already worn when the colony is only fifteen years old. Hawthorne says that, "All were characterized by the sternness and severity which old portraits so invariably put on; as if they were the ghosts, rather than the pictures, of departed worthies, and were gazing with harsh and intolerant criticism at the pursuits and enjoyments of living men.
In the recounting of the New England holiday set aside to honor a change in government, Hawthorne describes the non-Puritan parade-goers in the most joyful of terms.
Their dress, their behavior, and even the happiness on their faces is very un-Puritan-like. He writes, with his pointed understatement, that "the Puritans compressed whatever mirth and public joy they deemed allowable to human infirmity; thereby so far dispelling the customary cloud, that, for the space of a single holiday, they appeared scarcely more grave than most other communities at a period of general affliction.
Consider the description he gives of them in his Custom House preface. He sees them, like the old General he describes, as people of perseverance, integrity, inner strength, and moral courage. He also shares a concern for their disdain toward his need to take on a commercial job that contributes little to the community in spiritual profit.
Man and Salvation These early Puritans followed the writings of a French Protestant reformer named John Calvinwhose teachings saw the world as a grim conflict between God and Satan. The Elect were people chosen by God for salvation.
According to Puritans, a merciful God had sent His son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die for the sins of man, but only a few would be saved. The rest, known as the "unregenerate," would be damned eternally.
Because Adam and Eve were willful and disobedient to God, they brought upon mankind the curse of depravity, sometimes called Original Sin.
Church and State Those who were male and members of the church could vote. In addition, ministers guided the elected officials of the colony; consequently, there was a close tie between Church and State.Nathaniel Hawthorne's tragic saga of Puritan America, "The Scarlet Letter" has always been intriguing tale in which for some people the book is outright boring and for others is a masterpiece.
While the Magna edition faithfully adapted the story, the illustrations (though very beautiful) made most of the characters look very young/5.
A Discussion of the Tragic Flaws of Arthur and Roger in The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne tragic flaws, arthur and roger, changing hester and pearl's lives.
Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University. Exactly what I needed. - The Mysterious Forest in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, life is centered around a rigid Puritan society.
In this society, people are not allowed to express their true thoughts and feelings. The Tragic Flaws of the Main Characters in Macbeth, a Play by William Shakespeare. 1, words. A Discussion of the Tragic Flaws of Arthur and Roger in The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne.
words. 1 page. The Scarlet Letter Research Paper. Morgan Rae American Literature, 3G 4 November I abide by the honor code. The Scarlet Letter Essay The novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays the story of Hester Prynne.
In the novel, Hester commits adultery and conceives a child as a result. Alternate cover edition located here. Set two centuries from Hawthorne's own time, The Scarlet Letter () sets its heroine, Hester Prynne, into the shaping early moments of American history.
The mother of an illegitimate child, Hester is compelled both by her Puritan community and her awareness /5(K).