Puritanism in the scarlet letter essays

And that brings me to Lillian Gish. Gish is always superb and it is refreshing to see her perform a far more subtle and complex role than the melodramatic simplicities offered by D.W. Griffith. I can’t think of another actress of the day who could have delivered Hester Prynne with so much depth and empathy. While it’s true the Hester always ultimate rejects the Puritantic strictures she has the wisdom to appreciate the comfort that this order delivers to other people. While she will not go so far as to be ashamed of her bloomers, she will at least make an effort to shield them from the male gaze. In The Scarlet Letter, the demands of Hester Prynne’s character falls right in line with Gish’s exceptional talents. Gish never delivers a discrete emotion. With her we don’t get happiness, we get happiness tinged with sorrow, or despair with an aura of hope, or… well, you get the picture. In this movie, she is absolutely riveting and brings to life some rather obtuse thematic tropes.

Puritanism in The Scarlet Letter essays

Hawthorne is in complete disagreement with them and makes it clear throughout the book.

Impure Puritans in The Scarlet Letter :: Scarlet Letter essays

The Scarlet Letter is, of course, based on the classic American novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. As I was watching the movie, I found myself wracking my memory for the particulars of the novel. It has been some amount of years since I last read the book, and the 11th grade lit class discussions were a little foggy. A quick check of the Wikipedia entry for the confirmed that the film is quite faithful to the novel with only a few dramatic licenses, so I won’t recap the plot here. Suffice it to say that the largest difference is in the relationship of Hester Prynne and the illegitimate Pearl to Dimmesdale. In the novel, Pearl repeatedly asks her father to publicly acknowledge his parentage, while in the movie Hester implores Dimmesdale to keep the secret, for the sake of the congregation’s faith in him. The ultimate outcome remains the same, and this minor revision makes for a far more romantic (in the personal relationship sense) movie narrative.

FREE The Scarlet Letter- Puritanism Essay - Example Essays

In The Scarlet Letter, the Puritan society shuns a character named Pearl, yet the author, who lived in the Romantic period, views her with awe and reverence.

Sacvan Bercovitch, The Office of the "Scarlet Letter," (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1991).
Hawthorne's Headache: Reading The Scarlet Letter.

Individual Versus the Puritan Society Scarlet Letter Essay

Bercovitch's influence is reflected in three other books that I've listed on my works cited page: those by Jean Fagan Yellin, Nancy Bentley, and Lauren Berlant. Yellin's and Bentley's books focus on slavery, and Berlant's argues that Hawthorne's fiction is about the subtleties of achieving or imposing a sense of national identity, the greatest obstacle to which, in Hawthorne's day, was the problem of slavery. Jean Fagan Yellin, The Antislavery Feminists in American Culture (New Haven CT: Yale UP, 1989); Nancy Bentley, The Ethnography of Manners: Hawthorne, James, Wharton (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1995); Lauren Berlant, The Anatomy of National Fantasy: Hawthorne, Utopia, and Everyday Life (Chicago: Chicago UP, 1991).

Watch a scene from The Scarlet Letter on YouTube. Here the villagers try to take Hester’s child as punishment for her sins.

FREE Puritans and Sin in the Scarlet Letter Essay

Nathaniel Hawthorne's use of nature imagery in The Scarlet Letter reflects Pearl's wild, capricious character that serves as a constant reminder of Hester's sin and whose romantically idealistic beauty frightens the Puritan society....

Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is a profound romance in which the characters must make such a decision.

Essays Related to Puritans and Sin in the Scarlet ..

Hawthorne criticism in the 1960's and 1970's was heavily influencedby one book, Frederick Crews's The Sins of the Fathers: Hawthorne's Psychological Themes, published in 1966. This book is neither the only nor the first psychoanalyticalinterpretation of Hawthorne's fiction, but it was certainly the mostinfluential. In The Sins of the Fathers, Crews providesblatantly Freudian interpretations of all of Hawthorne's romances andbest-known tales. When we re-read this book from our perspectivealmost forty years later, we may be tempted to find almost laughablethe inevitable turn in Crews's interpretation of each tale andromance to Freud's Oedipus complex; perhaps that's because thatreduction of each of Hawthorne's fictions to an Oedipal tensionquickly becomes predictable: after reading just a few chapters, wecome to expect the invocation of the Oedipus complex.