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Discuss Hawthornes presentation of the Puritans throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter You may wish to consider P Hawthornes links with the Puritans P The presentation of Puritanism in the novel The narrative methods through which Hawthorne presents Puritanism The Puritans are complex characters and throughout the course of the novel the reader is exposed to many sides of their character Mark Van Doren once wrote The conflict in Hawthorne of two worlds between which he hung exposing the fanaticism of one despising the blandness of the other is not the least source of The Scarlet Letters power I agree I think the power of The Scarlet Letter is so effective because Hawthorne is caught in-between his lineage and his own opinions Hawthorne came from a long line of powerful Puritans His ancestry included William and John Hathorne who were notorious in their time He was a soldier legislator judge he was a ruler in the Church he had all the puritanic traits both good and evil William Hathorne was infamous for his cruelty to the Quaker Ann Coleman his son John for his part in the Salem Witch-Hunts Hawthorne uses his own family history to show the conflict in the Puritan ideals I the present writer as their representative hereby take shame upon myself for their sakes and pray that any curse incurred by themmay be now and henceforth removed Hawthorne uses both these examples within his own family tree to show that although his family history is soaked in the blood of the past he was able to free himself from that sphere of thinking However it is important to remember his thinking has been freed from the strict confined of the Puritan way of life in his own family he still cannot escape the engulfing guilt of their crimes The first time the reader is confronted with the Puritan community is at the prison door in the market place
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