Theme of punishment in scarlet letter

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Bible begins with the story of Adam and Eve, who were expelled from the Garden of Eden for eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. As a result of their knowledge, Adam and Eve are made aware of their humanness, that which separates them from the divine and from other creatures. The experience of Hester and Dimmesdale recalls the story of Adam and Eve because, in both cases, sin results in expulsion and suffering.

Theme of punishment in scarlet letter

Sin Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Scarlet Letter, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Sin The Puritans believed people were born sinners.

The Scarlet Letter - Wikipedia

Puritan preachers depicted each human life as suspended by a string over the fiery pit of hell. As a result, the Puritans maintained strict watch over themselves and their fellow townspeople, and sins such as adultery were punishable by death. Hester is spared execution only because the Puritans of Boston decided it would benefit the community to transform her into a "living sermon against sin.

Puritan society demanded conformity because it considered any breach of that conformity a threat to its security and its religion.

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Hester doesn't conform and she suffers the consequences: The town seeks to use Hester as an example to frighten any other would-be nonconformists from breaking the strict moral rules of Puritanism.

Yet Hester's unshakable faith in… Puritanism The Scarlet Letter presents a critical, even disdainful, view of Puritanism. The narrator depicts Puritan society as drab, confining, unforgiving, and narrow-minded that unfairly victimizes Hester.

In the scene in which Hester is released from prison, the narrator describes the town police official as representing the "whole dismal severity of the Puritanical code of law," which fused religion with law.

Where Puritanism is merciless and rigid, nature is forgiving and flexible. This contrast is made clear from the very first page, when the narrator contrasts the "black flower" of the prison that punishes sin with the red rose bush that he imagines forgives those sentenced to die.

The theme of nature continues with the forest outside Boston, which is described as an "unchristianized, lawless… The Occult The first association most people have with the town of Salem, Massachusetts is the infamous "Salem Witch Trials.

Theme of punishment in scarlet letter

But the novel treats witchcraft and the occult sympathetically. By associating Pearl with other outcasts like Mistress Hibbins, Hawthorne suggests that witches were created by, and victims of, the excessively strict Puritan society.

Puritan society created the witches… Cite This Page Choose citation style: Retrieved November 25, The Scarlet Letter as a Story of Crime and Punishment The Scarlet Letter is essentially a story of crime, sin and punishment.

It tells of the ignominy or humiliation of a woman who has broken scriptural and statutory law in a community dedicated to the maintenance of the authority of the law. Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter deals with many themes, the most powerful being punishment. In this novel, Hester Prynne becomes a highly respected person in a Puritan society by overcoming one of the harshest punishments, the scarlet letter.

The Scarlet Letter: The Theme of Punishment Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter deals with many themes, the most powerful being punishment. In this novel, Hester Prynne becomes a highly respected person in a Puritan society by overcoming one of the harshest punishments, the scarlet letter.

Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter deals with many themes, the most powerful being punishment. In this novel, Hester Prynne becomes a highly respected person in a Puritan society by overcoming one of the harshest punishments, the scarlet letter.

LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Scarlet Letter, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Kestler, Justin.

Theme of punishment in scarlet letter

"The Scarlet Letter Themes." LitCharts. LitCharts LLC, 22 Jul Web. 21 Sep Kestler, Justin. "The Scarlet Letter Themes." LitCharts.

LitCharts. The theme of passion or love is also significant in The Scarlet Letter. The novel may be seen as ‘a love story’ or as a tragedy of grand passion rather than as a tale of sinful passion”. The novel may be seen as ‘a love story’ or as a tragedy of grand passion rather than as a tale of sinful passion”.

SparkNotes: The Scarlet Letter: Themes