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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, purposely implanted in them, thereby insulting their beloved God rather than following Him and all of His decisions. It is generally believed that Puritan culture is exceedingly religious in all aspects of their community. Why then would a culture so God-focused attempt to change the very thing that makes them God's creatures: human nature? But to know the "why," the "what" must be known and understood. In this case, the "what" would be: how the Puritan laws conflict with the human and natural laws.Nature is not something that one can change by one's own actions or choices based off of personal opinion. No! Nature is something embedded deep within every living thing on this Earth. The first conflict with the Puritan law and natural human law is the sheer existence of both. If, like the Puritans say, everything was created by God, then this would logically include the basis of natural law; this part is fine. What is not fine is the fact that if this is true, then natural laws should take pretence over any other law not already established, and the Puritans attempted to establish a culture in which it is taught that some of those natural laws are flat-out wrong. For instance, God instilled in human nature for humans to be forgiving of sin while Puritan culture teaches that public shame atop a pillory, which is "…the framework of that instrument of discipline, so fashioned as to confine the human head in its tight grasp…" is the best solution (Hawthorne 64). Not only is there a conflict of how to deal with sin itself, but there is also a major conflict of whether or not an action should be classified as sin!The Puritans believe that the Bible is the ultimate source of law and that human and natural law can be totally disregarded....

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