Essay On The Treatment Of Men And Women In The Scarlet Letter

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Essay On The Treatment Of Men And Women In The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter - Summary \u0026 Analysis - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hawthorne's comments have to be regarded in the context of the settlers' history and religion. They believe that man is a creature steeped in sin, ever since Adam and Eve's fall from innocence. To them, committing the original sin strapped human beings of their own free will, so that God now decides about their lives. Everything that happens is seen as God's will, and providence plays an important role. Through the sacrifice and righteousness of Christ, however, there is a chance for people to be saved.

One cannot definitely know who will be saved, although pious and faithful people are of course more likely to. The experience of conversion, in which the soul is touched by the Holy Spirit, so that the believer's heart is turned from sinfulness to holiness, is another indication that one is of the elect. Faithfulness and piety, rather than good deeds are what saves people. If someone has sinned, public confession is believed to take some of the burden of this sin off him. The initial reason for the Puritans to leave their homes was the treatment they had to suffer from in their native England. They were brutally persecuted and were not allowed to practise their religion, because they said that the beliefs taught by the Anglican church were against the Bible.

When they arrived in the New World, they were confronted with numerous threats from the outside. Their trying to take land away from the Indians caused many fights and attacks. Moreover, they had to deal with the total wilderness surrounding them. Under these frontier conditions, they needed harmony and peace inside the community in order to survive. As a result, Hawthorne's founding fathers immediately saw the necessity to set up a prison, right next to the graveyard in order to keep their settlement together and stable. This shows that "the city upon a hill" and "God's visible kingdom on earth" could not be put into practice without punishing and persecuting others.

The prison's door is made from heavy, antique oak and is secured with iron spikes. The age of the wood symbolises another reason why the Puritan ideas could not be realised without violating human nature, namely that they came to a New World, but built their settlement on an antique, even anachronistic basis. Their pessimistic belief that the human species is doomed and has no free will also contributed to the failure of their Utopia. The heavy look of the door also shows that people do not accept their punishment, and Hawthorne suggests that in its strictness, the Puritan code of law is against human nature.

These rules and regulations are mostly directly taken from the bible, going so far that religion and law can be called almost identical. This is the reason why people look at deeds we would not even consider crimes as if they were capital sins, showing the same gravity during the public punishment. Their modes of punishment are "outrages against human nature", as culprits are publicly humiliated on the pillory, not being able to hide their faces.

Hawthorne criticises this method of punishment in particular and the Puritan society in general with irony by calling the pillory "as effectual an agent in the promotion of good citizenship as the guillotine in France". As has been pointed out in the introduction, this mode of confessing and suffering publicly was seen as a way to help the culprit. These cruelties show the discrepancy between the way the Puritans behave and the original idea of Christianity. Most of them, for example the "morally coarse" women who cry at Hester, are not capable of forgiving, mercy or neighbourly love. They claim to be pure Christians, but what they actually practise is a perversion of what Christianity really is.

Together with their difficult situation and their religion, the suffering they had to endure in England partially explains their behaviour. They were brutally persecuted themselves because they were thought to endanger the present order, now they persecute others for exactly the same reason. The Quakers, who believe that God can speak through every man and woman and that everyone can be enlightened by God, are harassed because their beliefs question the hierarchy of the Puritan church.

Those who are at the top of this hierarchy, most of them learned scholars and men of great intellect, are highly respected by the citizens and are seen as "mortals in fellowship with angels. Hawthorne shows that concerning some of these clergymen, this respectability and piety is only a veneer. They do not practise what they preach, Wilson for example surrounds himself in luxuries which are entirely forbidden to the normal citizens. Furthermore, the reader learns that Hester's scarlet letter gives a "sympathetic throb" when she passes by one of the ministers, showing that he has sinned also. Besides the clergy and the soldiers, the statesmen are the third group of the tripod that forms the fundament of Puritan society.

Although not as learned as the ministers, they also are respected by the citizen. Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by professional specifically for you? We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. If you continue, we will assume that you agree to our Cookies Policy. Learn More. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Removal Request. If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda. Cite This paper. Select a referencing style:. Copy to Clipboard Copied! Reference IvyPanda. Bibliography IvyPanda. References IvyPanda. More related papers. Check the price of your paper. In conclusion, Edwards was a powerful speaker and writer. His words could bring a room full of people to their knees. His use of strong imagery and diction persuades and shocks the congregation even more than just saying they were going to hell. If they didn 't already leave from fear they were crying from thinking they would go to hell. The Boston community abhors Hester, including the young children who throw mud and rocks towards her.

In the play, the Crucible by Arthur Miller takes an inner look at the HUAC act, where they put people on tedious trials because they allegedly had ties to communism or they practiced communism. It explores all of the lying and accusing people were doing to each other. In the play, they use the Salem witch trials as an example. The play uses the accusations of witchery and the tedious trials and hangings of people for these accusations. The author clearly uses irony, characterization, and understatement to point out the wrongdoings during this time.

After the rape Amir begins to create an. The Scarlet Letter, a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in , functions as an evaluation of Puritan ideas, customs, and culture during the 17th century. Some Puritan virtues created stark divisions between groups of people, some of which led to discrimination under certain circumstances. One of the most prominent of these is the treatment and standards of men and women, a concept that surfaced during some of the major points in The Scarlet Letter.

The divisions that were created by Puritan standards of men and women played a great role in shaping the plot of The Scarlet Letter, determining the fate of many of the characters. In this essay, we will focus on the effects this ideology had on the treatment of Hester and Dimmesdale, and the effects it had on Dimmesdale after he confessed to committing adultery. The townspeople present at the trial presented a very negative sentiment towards Hester, …show more content… One of the key examples of this in The Scarlet Letter is Dimmesdale, a highly respected preacher who was renowned throughout the Puritan community.

When the Puritans learned of his involvement in the adultery case with Hester, they were shocked at first but overall, they did not mock or insult him like they did to Hester 7 years prior.

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