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Word Count: 526
The Scarlet Letter was the story of Hester Prynne an adulteress who lived during the Puritan era and the pain and shame she endured because of her sin The author Nathaniel Hawthorne was educated on the beliefs and practices of the Puritans during this time as some of his ancestors resided in the Puritan city of Salem Massachusetts Through Hawthornes research of the Puritans he beccame ashamed to be related to such a people and developed a strong dislike for their ideas and their hypocrisy In his novel The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne used diction and certain symbols to display his disgust of the Puritan society Hawthornes specific word choice helped show his feelings toward the Puritans First Hawthorne described the Puritans as being the most intolerant brood since they scorned their hearts and reviled their tongues when they found out about the sin Hester has committed Through this description Hawthorne displayed the intolerance and lack of compassion possessed by the Puritans Hawthornes negative tone conveyed his disapproval of the Puritan reaction to Hesters sin and his tone and diction also alluded to the hypocrisy of the Puritans for they persecuted sinners while they themselves sinned as well Contrarily Hawthorne described Hester as compassionate one who bestowed all her superfluous means in charity on wretches less miserable than herself Though an outcast an adulteress and a sinner looked down on by all of the Puritan society Hawthorne described Hester as a caring and loving person almost a hero rather than condoning her sin and depicting her as a miscreant or villain Through his positive description of Hester Hawthorne conveyed his distaste with the Puritans and their judgment of others Hawthorne also used certain symbols to illustrate his view toward the Puritan society For example the scaffold in which the very ideal of ignominy was embodied and made manifest in this contrivance of wood and iron was used to publicly embarrass and humble Hester
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