The Scarlet Letter: The Harsh Puritan Society

In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, life is centered around a rigid,
Puritanistic-structured society in which one is unable to divulge his or her
innermost thoughts and secrets. Every human being needs the opportunity to
express how they truly feel, or the emotion is bottled up until it becomes
volatile. Unfortunately, Puritan society did not permit this expression, so
characters had to seek alternate means in order to relieve themselves. Luckily,
at least for the four main characters, Hawthorne provides such a sanctuary in
the form of the mysterious forest. Hawthorne uses the forest to provide a
shelter for members of society in need of a refuge from daily life.

In the deep, ...

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It is here that the two of
them can openly engage in conversation, without being preoccupied with the
constraints that Puritan society places on them. The forest itself, is free.
Nobody watches in the woods to report misbehavior, so it is here where people do
as they wish. To independent spirits like Hester Prynne's, the wilderness
beckons her: "Throw off the shackles of law and religion. What good have they
done you anyway? Look at you, a young and vibrant woman, grown old before you
time. And no wonder, hemmed in, as you are, on every side by prohibitions. Why,
you can hardly walk without tripping over one commandment or another. Come to me,
and be masterless." Truly, Hester takes advantage of this, when Arthur
Dimmesdale appears. She openly talks with Dimmesdale about subjects which would
never be mentioned in any place other than the forest. "What we didů" she
reminds him, "had a consecration of its own. We felt it so! We said to each
other!"(p. 186) This statement shocks ...

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The Scarlet Letter: The Harsh Puritan Society. (2005, August 11). Retrieved March 17, 2018, from
"The Scarlet Letter: The Harsh Puritan Society.", 11 Aug. 2005. Web. 17 Mar. 2018. <>
"The Scarlet Letter: The Harsh Puritan Society." August 11, 2005. Accessed March 17, 2018.
"The Scarlet Letter: The Harsh Puritan Society." August 11, 2005. Accessed March 17, 2018.
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Added: 8/11/2005 02:35:56 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1063
Pages: 4

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