Resisting Change Essay

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RESISTING CHANGE Hanging, lashing, whipping or beating were common morning public punishments performed by the Puritans. Nathaniel Hawthorne, a victim of the Puritans’ bleak views; as his great-grandmother, Sarah Osborne, became the first victim of the Salem witch trials; bursts his emotions out in this novel, The Scarlet Letter. Following the old saying, ‘a pen is stronger than a sword;’ Hawthorne employs juxtaposition, negative connotation, syntax and irony to criticize the Puritans’ Bible-concentrated view on general society, which leads to the Puritans defeat without a single drop of blood. Hawthorne uses negative connotation to show how confined Puritans are, as he selects “, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes,” to describe the narrow views of Puritans. Indirectly, the author compares the Puritans to the ‘iron spikes’ which keep the prison door in its place. Therefore the Puritans are ropes that keep general society in the confined boundary of their beliefs. The oak door has nowhere to go, just like society has nowhere to go, because of the Puritans guarding them. If the oak door manages to pop out of the iron spikes first of all it would have to go through severe pain to get across the iron spikes then when it’s finally free, it won’t be part of the door anymore; similarly if anybody in society wants go across the Puritans’ scope, they would be first punished and then be declared an outcast and won’t be part of society anymore. The writer’s manipulative use of syntax and irony establishes his intentional persona of the cursed Puritans, as he puts “… as a cemetery… prison-house…church-yard…” in the same sentence to contrast all three opposite places, which are related because of acts done by Puritans. Puritans have converted a cemetery, prison and church into a parody, as a cemetery and a prison give one a feeling

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