Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Bible begins with the story of Adam and Eve, who were expelled from the Garden of Eden for eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. As a result of their knowledge, Adam and Eve are made aware of their humanness, that which separates them from the divine and from other creatures.
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.
In The Scarlet Letter, those two branches of the government are represented by Mr. The rules governing the Puritans came from the Bible, a source of spiritual and ethical standards.
These rules were definite, and the penalties or punishments were public and severe. The stocks were a form of public indictment — and, therefore, deterrent — of bad behavior. Those who disagreed with the laws of the colony were banished, persecuted, and, in some cases, executed.
Obviously, these rigid Puritan standards had both good and bad outcomes. The colony would not have survived without the faith, hard work, courage, and perseverance of these early religious believers.
They feared Indian attacks and had to survive lethal diseases, starvation, and the harsh New England winters. They also formed a society in which the rules were very clear.
There were few gray areas in the standards of behavior expected by the Puritans and taught early to their children. These stern and introspective Puritans provided a rigid structure that was repressive to the individual but that enabled the colony to survive those early years when order and faith were needed.
On the other hand, the society built by the Puritans was stern and repressive, with little room for individualism.
In this society, the "path of righteousness" was very narrow and taught through stern sermons on guilt and sin.In most of these books, those quoted below, circumcision is a plot point, and the issue is only whether or not a character is circumcised, and why.
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"It is the horrible texture of a fabric that should be woven of ships' cables and hawsers. A Polar wind blows through it, and birds of prey hover over it." So Melville wrote of his masterpiece, one of the greatest works of imagination in literary history.
In part, Moby-Dick is the story of an eerily. Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin The Scarlet Letter - Puritan Society, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.
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.
|The Scarlet Letter Theme Analysis - Sample Essays||Every human being needs the opportunity to express how he or she truly feels, otherwise the emotions are bottled up until they become volatile.|
|Degree Programs||And possibly my last, as this could be a complete shit show.|
|The Temporary Autonomous Zone||Hester Prynne, the main character of the story, commits the sin of adultery. Also, she must stand on the scaffold in the town for three hours for the whole town to recognize her grave sins.|