Puritans, and their views on Sin, Guilt, Crime, and Adultery.
Mr. Navarro English III 2B
Ryan J. Villanueva
21 November 2017
Puritans, and their views on Sin, Guilt, Crime, and Adultery
During the Middle Ages, England was losing its once strong dedication to God. Churches were not as pure as they portrayed themselves to be with their “Indulgences”, which were payments to be exempt from some sins. Of course,people of devout faith did not approve of theses indulgences and noticed the wrongs in their church. So, a man named Martin Luther stated his 95 theses, which were mostly the wrongs done by the Catholic Church, and caused the Protestant Reformation. This ultimately led to Puritanism, the ideal that the church can be reformed into a more pure church, by following the Bible and living simple lives. This ideal closely associated with the idea of Predestination. The idea where one is condemned, or saved from birth. One can understand these standards of living and how the puritans interpreted sin, guilt, crime, and adultery, through the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, in The Scarlet Letter and Arthur Miller, in The Crucible.
Adultery, the most notable theme that appears in The Scarlet Letter. The ruthlessness, the unwavering brutality, and principles of the Puritan religion and society is portrayed when it is faced with Hester Prynne, a woman who has sinned by committing adultery in the second chapter of The Scarlet Letter. “‘What do we talk of marks and brands, whether on the bodice of her gown or the flesh of her forehead?’ cried another female, the ugliest as well as the most pitiless of these self-constituted judges. ‘This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die; Is there not law for it? Truly there is, both in the Scripture and the statute book. Then let the magistrates, who have made it of no effect, thank themselves if their own wives and daughters go astray’” (Hawthorne 79) Puritans view the world as a chance to save themselves from damnation, it is viewed as a connection to God himself. The Bible is seen as the word of God, and this is what established a cemented connection to the Puritans. Thus they lived their lives on earth with an honest sincerity due to that bond with God and followed the rules given in the Bible strictly. If one was to sin on earth, it was seen that you were ungrateful and were rebelling against God. If one rebelled against God in Puritan times, you were shamed, and punished, as Hester Prynne is being punished herself. Not only is this shaming and punishment hurtful, but also the guilt of sin seems to be of a wicked tormented nature, that drives a puritan who has sinned, closer to God. We see this in Reverend Dimmesdale's case. He suffered from the unbearable guilt of Adultery with Hester Prynne. “Mr. Dimmesdale was overcome with a great horror of mind, as if the...