The portrayal of hypocrisy and punishment in hawthornes the scarlet letter

The stocks were a form of public indictment — and, therefore, deterrent — of bad behavior. His knowledge of their beliefs and his admiration for their strengths were balanced by his concerns for their rigid and oppressive rules.

In Chapter 3, Hawthorne describes Bellingham and the others sitting around Hester and says that, although they are "doubtless, good men, just and sage," it would be impossible to find men less capable of understanding the behavior of Hester Prynne.

Unbelievers often assume that Christians are self-righteous and unforgiving, but we know this stereotype goes against what the Bible teaches. The real Puritans had many of the wholesome traits and values that went into the founding of this nation. But these punishments are done in private rather than in public and do not provide the cleansing Dimmesdale seeks and needs.

Why did Hester wait so long?

As a minister, Dimmesdale has a voice that consoles and an ability to sway audiences. But perhaps the analysis I have been pursuing here can suggest a social origin for the difficulty of crossing the gap between the actual and the imaginary.

This love she felt that was so strong, that it made her break sacred vows must have disappeared. The Puritan society itself was a lesson in hypocrisy. He also has the principal conflict in the novel, and his agonized suffering is the direct result of his inability to disclose his sin.

Here we might notice that in the book he thought closest to his actual life and sensibility, and most engaged in working out a way for men and women to live together in the calmer light of everyday life, the gender drama is much more conventional: Punishment The wrath of the colony toward malefactors is brutally obvious in the first scaffold scene in Chapter 2.

However, his portrayal of Puritans is probably inaccurate, or at least exaggerated.

The Scarlet Letter

Still, Baym is certainly right to argue that the thwarting of talented female lives is crucially at issue as Hawthorne invents Hester, Zenobia, and Miriam.

While half the colonists died that first year, the other half were saved by the coming spring and the timely intervention of the Indians.

This conflict is seen even in the early chapters. What can thy silence do for him, except to tempt him — yea, compel him, as it were — to add hypocrisy to sin? The Elect were people chosen by God for salvation.

Take heed how thou deniest to him — who, perchance, hath not the courage to grasp it for himself — the bitter, but wholesome, cup that is now presented to thy lips! Why do the analyses, identifications, and commitments of the fiction fail to bear fruit in the life?Nathaniel Hawthorne’s historical novel The Scarlet Letter explores guilt, revenge, and redemption in colonial America.

Hawthorne blends supernatural elements with psychological insight in his story of one woman’s public punishment for adultery. This is, of course, clearest in The Scarlet Letter, in which Hester not only keeps alive and at last momentarily expresses a glorious erotic life, but in doing so exemplifies what it might mean to locate a life at once subversive of and engaged with one's community.

The stranger tells him that Hester refuses to reveal her fellow sinner. As punishment, she has been sentenced to three hours on the scaffold and a lifetime of wearing the scarlet letter on her chest. The Scarlet Letter study guide contains a biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Nathaniel Hawthorne - Hypocrisy In The Scarlet Letter: In The Scarlet Letter Hypocrisy is evident everywhere. The characters of Hester, Dimmesdale, Chillingworth, and the very society that the characters lived in, were steeped in hypocrisy. Ghent University Faculty of Arts and Philosophy Women in The Scarlet Letter Supervisor: Prof.

Gert Buelens July, Paper submitted in partial fulfilment of the.

The portrayal of hypocrisy and punishment in hawthornes the scarlet letter
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