Puritan Attitudes Toward Sin In The Scarlet Letter

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Through the novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the reader learns that the Puritan religion looks down on sinning and punishes sinners harshly. Through several examples throughout the text, the reader can conclude that Hawthorne did not agree with the Puritans’ attitude toward sin. Hawthorne uses satire throughout the novel to make fun of the Puritan views. The main character of the novel is Hester Prynne, who is found cheating on her husband. As a result, she is forced to wear a sewn scarlet “A” on her clothing. At first, the community shuns her and pays little to no attention to her. Eventually she is allowed to offer help to families in need and give food to the poor. Over time, she works her way back into the community and her sin is just a memory. In chapter 13, the townspeople joke around and say “That many…show more content…
Dimmesdale is the town’s minister and is also the man Hester committed adultery with. It is ironic in the fact that he preaches to the town about confessing their sins, yet he has a sin that he has not confessed. Hawthorne uses satire to poke fun at the Puritans’ view of sin. The man who is supposed to be free of sin, has actually sinned the worst. Before Dimmesdale kills himself, he admits his sin to the whole town. Also, Dimmesdale receives treatment from Hester’s husband, Chillingworth, who knows their secret, and is trying to get revenge on them both. Chillingworth ends up realizing that he is going insane with trying to get revenge and believes that he has sinned more than both of them. The novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne uses satire to poke fun of the Puritan attitude toward sinning and the punishments of sinning. The reader learns from the text that the Puritan religion looked down on the idea of sin and punishes sinners harshly. Hawthorne did not agree with the views of the Puritans, as shown throughout the
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