The Scarlet Letter- Puritanism

The Scarlet Letter- Puritanism

In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, draws attention to the negative qualities pertaining to the Puritan lifestyles and beliefs of the 17th century. He illustrates this by describing ?the city upon a hill?, materialism, and the hypocritical nature of the Puritan society.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was raised in Salem, Massachusetts, and was of Puritan descent. Witnessing the downfall of his society, he thought there was a need for social reform. As a result of this, he wrote The Scarlet Letter to show that nothing benefited from puritan ideology.
In the introduction to the novel, Hawthorne describes a Puritan, theoretical Utopian society. This ?city upon a hill? was intended to exemplify the ideal structure England should encompass. However, Hawthorne informs the reader of the first buildings constructed, which were a cemetery and a prison. ?The founders of a new colony?allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison.? (35) Here it is evident that upon coming to the new colony, Puritans show

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