This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Hypocrisy Of Puritan Society In The Scarlet Letter

964 words - 4 pages

Biswas 1Ishan BiswasMr. AskewEnglish 10, Period 18 October 2014Hypocrisy of Puritan SocietyIn Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter (1850), Hawthorne satirizes Puritans and Puritan belief by showing the flaws of the community. He mainly targets the inability to forgive and spiritual pride. The members of the community are arrogant, and they judge others as if they are substitutes of God. They observe the sins of others without focusing on their own sin. Hawthorne ridicules the town's inhabitants, the church leaders, and their actions.Hawthorne satirizes the pride of the Puritan community by ridiculing the "Puritan civilization" and the people's hypocrisy. While the Puritans like to see their civilization as a utopia, it is far from that. When the Puritans first came to the New World, they expected a "fresh start," but the civilization represents self-contradiction because the first building built in the town is a prison. The irony is apparent here because they knew they would have criminals and sinners, but they still see their civilization as a utopia. In the opening scene of the novel, a group of gossiping goodwives begin to praise themselves and demoralize Hester because of her sin. The goodwives see themselves an ideal Puritan member compared to Hester. Hawthorne satirizes the pride of the women because they have compassion to know the affair of others instead of worrying about their own sin and faith. The women are acting as substitutes of God because of their judging of others instead of attending to their own faith. Reverend Wilson plays a similar role when he judges a woman's heart. Reverend Wilson is a church leader, but that does not give him the role of God to judge others. The members of the Puritan community have so much pride in themselves and the civilization that they are blinded, so they cannot see the reality of their society.Punishment in the Puritan community is based on stature because reputable people are rarely punished compared to regular citizens. The Puritan community has much respect for the church leader, but they do not live truly according to Puritan philosophy. The lavish lives of the church leaders is shown when "Hester went to the mansion of Governor Bellingham" (Hawthorne 68). The Puritans are supposed to live in modest homes, so they cannot boast about their wealth, but Hawthorne satirizes Bellingham for having such lavish amenities compared to the rest of the Puritan community. Strict punishments would usually be enforced for any divergence of the Puritan philosophy, but that does not apply to the church leaders because they are respectable. Hester is an ordinary woman who committed adultery, but unlike the fate of the church leaders, she is subject to public humiliation. As Feidelson says of the leader, "they have no perception of the concrete reality of Hester on the scaffold" (372). The people like the leaders, "see only the abstract adulteress" (Feidelson 372). When they see Hester on the...

Find Another Essay On Hypocrisy of Puritan Society in the Scarlet Letter

In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the strict theocratic society of the Puritan settlement is used to set up a sort of foil for the main character

947 words - 4 pages In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the strict theocratic society of the Puritan settlement is used to set up a sort of foil for the main character. Through this character he also incorporates the literary archetypes of the Civilization versus the Forest. Similarly, Miller also incorporates these schemes. They both speak of the undertones of corruption in the Puritan society. The Puritan setting also enables him to portray the each

Scarlet Letter: Puritan Times Essay

1661 words - 7 pages Nathaniel Hawthorne's, The Scarlet Letter is a book about a woman, Hester, who moves to Boston from England during the Puritan times. She has a husband, and tells the colonists of Boston he will be arriving to be with her soon. After years go by and he doesn't arrive, Hester finds another man whom she becomes close to. She becomes pregnant and the town finds out she has committed adultery. She is forced to wear a letter "A," meaning "adulteress

Sin and Corruption of Puritan Society Illustrated in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Miller's The Crucible, and Bradstreet's To My Dear and Loving Hus

990 words - 4 pages Puritans may have tried to give themselves the appearance of a perfect society, but it was really just as corrupt and full of sinners as any society today. In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Crucible by Arthur Miller and “To My Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet, there is evidence for this. In Puritan literature, although they try to hide it, sin is very common, in that Puritans do the opposite of what they preach, but

Hester's Deconstruction of Puritan Ideals in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

832 words - 3 pages The Scarlet Letter - Hester's  Deconstruction of Puritan Ideals     Hester, the protagonist in Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter, effectively challenges the efforts of the Puritan theocracy to define her, and at the same time, contain the threat she poses to the social order.   Throughout the novel Hester bears the mark of an "A" embroidered on her chest which was originally intended to label her as a social outcast, more

The Role of Nature and Society in The Scarlet Letter

967 words - 4 pages most intolerant society that ever existed. As Hawthorne has depicted in the Scarlet Letter, society--the Puritan society especially--interferes with the pure in the heart of the individual. Only nature provides a sanctuary for the individual and only there can individuals fully cultivate their minds.

The Scarlet Letter: Title, this is about the use of symbolism and the political status of women in Puritan New England and how it relates to The Scarlet Letter. It is a critical analysis

1044 words - 4 pages The Scarlet LetterThe Scarlet Letter, written in 1850 by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is about a Puritan society in Massachusetts. The theme of this novel is largely sin, and how the guilty parties were not equally treated for the same sin or exposed for the wrong that they had done in the eyes of God. Hawthorne describes deception, the withholding of the truth, and secrecy in the development of the plot and characters in the novel. Hawthorne vividly

The Individual versus Society in the Scarlet Letter

1014 words - 4 pages The Individual vs. Society in the Scarlet Letter The society we live in today grants us a variety of freedoms. No one tells us how to think or what to believe in. We decide what clothes to wear, what to do on Sundays and our religion – with no law to persuade us. These permissive decisions would not be looked highly upon in stern Puritan Society. There is no sense of individualism in 1600s Salem because laws envelop every bit of human society

Hester's Alienation from Society Depicted in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

996 words - 4 pages Throughout The Scarlet Letter, the moral and social values pertaining to the discrimination of females by society is revealed through the alienation of Hester Prynne, the main character in The Scarlet Letter. During The Scarlet Letter, Hester is punished for her adulterous relationship with Reverend Dimmesdale which results in a child named Pearl. As a result of the adulterous relationship, the authorities of The Puritan society that she is

"The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne: Why Pearl doesn't live up to the expectations of the Puritan Ethic

1122 words - 4 pages The Scarlet Letter EssayIn Nathaniel Hawthorne?s The Scarlet Letter, Pearl Prynne, one of the main characters, does not live up to the expectations of the Puritan Ethic. The Puritan Ethic is based on being a hard laborer, worshiping God, and praying the rest of the time. Pearl, the ?devil-child,? does not do any of this. Instead, she runs around in the forest, playing with her sticks and laughing at everything, and having fun. By the

Puritan Law as Hawthorne Views it What is Hawthorn trying to say about puritan law? The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorn

769 words - 3 pages Nathaniel Hawthorne is a curious writer. Some hate him, or rather his works, while still others adore him and all of his books and stories. Part of this hate may come from the views that he takes on various aspects of the world and society that the reader may not fully agree with. In the book The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne portrays Puritans as a people who suppress the laws of human nature that their God, who they worship to an utmost extent

"Two Scarlet Letters"--compares and contrasts Hester and Dimmesdale's scarlet letters and connects them to attitudes of Puritan society

651 words - 3 pages The themes that often reveal themselves in The Scarlet Letter, such as Puritan society, sin, confession, human nature, and punishment, are studied by looking at two versions of a simple letter in the alphabet: A. The scarlet A on Hester's dress and a replica on Dimmesdale's chest implants a connection not only in the sense of characters, but also in the corruption of Puritan society.Hester's punishment by itself shows the way Puritan society's

Similar Essays

Hypocrisy Of The Scarlet Letter Essay

1749 words - 7 pages condemning. Hypocrisy was present in Puritan society and it endures still even today. Hypocrisy is the major theme in The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne’s work was meant to highlight the hypocrisy in Puritan society, and in the people that make up the society. The Scarlet Letter was meant to expose just how much of a sin hypocrisy is, and just how it causes so much pain and suffering.

The Puritan Society In N. Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"

1519 words - 6 pages In the introductory sketch to Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel the 'The Scarlet Letter', the reader is informed that one of the author's ancestors persecuted the Quakers harshly. The latter's son was a high judge in the Salem witch trials, put into literary form in Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' (Judge Hathorne appears there). We learn that Hawthorne feels ashamed for their deeds, and that he sees his ancestors and the Puritan society as a whole with

Hawthorne Critiques Puritan Society In His Works, Young Goodman Brown And The Scarlet Letter

1773 words - 7 pages internal battles within characters, hypocrisy in religious figures, atypical punishment for crimes, and accenting women's roles in Puritan society. Firstly, Hawthorne's literature often stresses internal battles in main characters. In both Young Goodman Brown and The Scarlet Letter, these battles are between morals and sin (both past and future). In Young Goodman Brown, Brown goes into the woods and meets Satan. Satan, in the form of Brown's

A Literary Analysis Of The Hypocrisy In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hwathorne

1022 words - 4 pages A Literary Analysis of the Hypocrisy in The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne describes the struggles of a young woman, Hester Prynne, a women found guilty of adultery. Hester's punishment is to wear the scarlet letter “A” to inform the entire town that this woman is a sinner. Throughout the novel, the reader comes to know Hester, the sinner, Reverend Dimmesdale, the minister that Hester had an affair with; and