Comparing The Puritan Setting In Scarlet Letter And Minister's Black Veil

932 words - 4 pages


Impact of the Puritan Setting Upon the Characters in The Scarlet Letter and The Minister's Black Veil      


This essay will examine the thematic relevance to the Puritan setting and its impact upon the characters and their development in both "The Scarlet Letter" and the short story, "The Minister's Black Veil." These two texts detail an accurate portrayal of what I assume the Puritan community to represent. This is partly because of the Puritan background within the works, but also considering that the main characters of these are deeply rooted within the Puritan faith and are, in different ways, in the public eye and are under separate ...view middle of the document...

.. The second character under scrutiny by their community and this English major is Hester Prynne, a young woman forced to don a scarlet letter "A" to signify to herself and to her community that she is a marked sinner. The letter, much like the veil, is an exterior symbol of appearance which is a popular device of Hawthorne; the outward appearance is an important aspect of the Puritan faith in that it reflects upon the interior climate. Interestingly, these symbols and their stewards are instituted for the benefit of the community. Hester's marking is not only to signify that she is unpure and naughty but to remind her of her iniquity. As she experiences discrimination, she is able to draw back from her former communinity and reflect upon their values. She gains perspective through her banishment and realizes that the true sin does not lie within her but exists within others because of their pride. This is similar with Mr. Hooper in that his veil is meant to alert others to their condition but instead it only focuses the attention to himself and his alleged actions. These two symbols are instituted within the Puritan community because of the overwhelming place which the religion held in the lives of its followers. It was not merely a faith, but a lifestyle; it seems similar to the Caste system of India because of the hierarchy of the elect and the chosen and the others. This community was so deeply immersed in its doctrine that it was unable to perceive of interaction and everyday activity without a clear reference to God and their religion.


 The Puritan faith believes that some members have been ordained as elect and saved and that others have not and just have to suffer through this life. God has...

Other Papers Like Comparing The Puritan Setting In Scarlet Letter And Minister's Black Veil

Alienation in Scarlet Letter Essay

1261 words - 6 pages One of the most prominent themes found throughout the Scarlet Letter, is that of alienation. Before the plot of the novel even begins, we learn that Hester Prynne has been alienated by her husband, Roger Chillingworth, who has sent her off to live on her own in the new world. Although Chillingworth mentions that he will later rejoin Hester in the new world, it takes much longer than expected, and it is assumed that he has been lost at sea

The Scarlet Letter Essay

830 words - 4 pages intellect and tickle their mind. Even if Hawthorne meant the symbolism to be perceived in one way, between people the results may shift, expand, or differ from the way intended. He used symbolism to have a greater general meaning to the book and to add depth to his characters. In the Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses the colors of red, black, and white along with the contrast of light and darkness to symbolize Hester's emotions and the emotions of those

The Scarlet Letter

727 words - 3 pages Letter is an 1850 romantic work of fiction in a historical setting, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and is considered to be his greatest work. In a Puritan settlement in Boston in the mid 1600's, a woman named Hester Prynne committed adultery and had a child. The townspeople are outraged and they make her wear a scarlet "A" on her clothes for everyone to see. It is supposed to be a mark of shame, but since Hester is a master at needlework, she makes

The Scarlet Letter Summary

577 words - 3 pages The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter is a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is about Hester Prynne, a woman who bears an illegitimate child. Though set in Puritan community centuries ago, the moral dilemmas of personal responsibility and consuming emotions of guilt, anger, loyalty and revenge are timeless.  The book begins with an essay titled “The Custom House” about the history of Hawthorne but it serves as nothing more than a

The Scarlet Letter

996 words - 4 pages brings out their true selves. Hester is able to break away from the Puritan beliefs that confined her from Dimmesdale. As a result she reaches a great level of intimacy and opens up to Dimmesdale, revealing her true self. In the forest, when Hester and Dimmesdale decide to move away and become a family "she undid the clasp that fastened the scarlet letter, and, taking it from her bosom, threw it to a distance among the withered leaves" (226). Through

"The Scarlet Letter"

677 words - 3 pages and mocked by the accusing Puritans. She finally arrives at the scaffold, displaying the two results of her adultery; the scarlet letter and her child, Pearl. In order to escape her isolation, Hester goes into her inner soul and into the past. In Hester's 'dusky mirror' of imagination, she remembers her old home in England, her mother, her father, and most of all, her own youthful face. Then, she thinks of the marital life with her husband, a

The Scarlet Letter 5

609 words - 3 pages Literary Analysis of The Scarlet Letter Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne Analysis of Four Main Characters (#2) Many believe that the four main characters of The Scarlet Letter are represented as types of people rather than a real person. One key attribute of each of these characters will be addressed to prove this stance. If Hester Prynne were to be defined by one trait, it would definitely be her strength. Throughout the whole story she was

The Scarlet Letter - 2461 words

2461 words - 10 pages 32 32 18 4 115 Ununpentium (288) Uup 2 8 18 32 32 18 5 116 Livermorium (292) Lv 2 8 18 32 32 18 6 117 Ununseptium Uus 118 Ununoctium (294) Uuo 2 8 18 32 32 18 8 K L M N O P Q For elements with no stable isotopes, the mass number of the isotope with the longest half-life is in parentheses. Periodic Table Design and Interface Copyright © 1997 Michael Dayah. Last updated: May 9, 2013 57 Lanthanum 138.90547 La 2 8 18 18 9

Hawthorne's Life Versus Death In The Scarlet Letter

4214 words - 17 pages Hawthorne’s Life Versus Life In The Scarlet Letter      To understand a book the reader must understand the background and lifetime of the author. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s childhood was one in which he was brought up by a conservative family in a Puritan Community. He was not totally sold on his culture’s ideas on many subjects. His own uncle was a judge in the witch trials of Salem

The Scarlet Letter Research Paper

1221 words - 5 pages one physician, and everyone sees him in that way, even Dimmesdale until his spiritual and physical enlightenment. The community soon realizes their minister and their physician have committed black sin. The letter A, symbolized to “angel,” “adultery,” “able,” and so on has really been inside of Hester, Dimmesdale, Pearl, and Chillingworth before this commotion among the Puritan community has taken place; they were born with the scarlet letter. That

There are no Characters in The Scarlet Letter

910 words - 4 pages Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter as an exemplum on pride. His creation of Hester Prynne, the protagonist of The Scarlet Letter, and her selflessness was the moral behind keeping her alive. The characters in The Scarlet Letter are nothing more than symbols representing abstract qualities and are dispensable. Names play an important role in The Scarlet Letter it is Hawthorne’s way of distinguishing not just the characters but their

Related Essays

Comparing And Contrasting The Novel And Movie Version Of The Scarlet Letter

3089 words - 13 pages she believed Hester was suffering from morning sickness. Several other minute details differed in the film, such as the infamous "A." The film version of the letter was fairly simple- a solid, capital, bright red "A" with a black background, certainly not a masterpiece of needlework. The "A" of the novel was finely worked in gold thread on a flaming, exuberant background; it was a prominent stigma of passion and sin. The prison door Hawthorne

Symbols And Symbolism The Letter A In The Scarlet Letter

1687 words - 7 pages The Symbolism of the Letter in The Scarlet Letter             Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter includes many profound and important symbols.  This device of symbolism is portrayed well in the novel, especially through the scarlet letter "A".  The "A" is the best example because of the changes in the meaning throughout the novel.  In the beginning of the novel, the

Puritianism And Literary Techniques In "The Scarlet Letter"

4195 words - 17 pages purification ix. Puritanism in The Scarlet Letter A. Puritan society B. Puritan church C. Hawthorne as a critic of Puritanism x. Symbolism A. The letter ‘A’ B. Symbolic meaning of the forest C. Symbolism by the characters xi. The theme of Love A. Love between Prynne and Dimmesdale B. Love of a mother C. Hawthorne’s treatment of love xii. Irony xiii. Ambiguity xiv

Hypocrisy In "The Scarlet Letter" By Hawthorne

1552 words - 7 pages examines the interaction of these characters and the reactionof these characters to Hester's sin. Although Hester's sin is at first supposedto be adultery, in fact adultery is just one of the many bases Hawthornecould use to build the story around. The underlying sin that Hawthornedeals with in The Scarlet Letter is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is the practice ofprofessing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess. Allthree main