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Change declared political science writer Saul Alinsky means movement Movement means friction Indeed society transformed and clashed between 1649 and 1850 as the austere Puritan lifestyle gave way to Romanticism Because of their distinct contrasts The Scarlet Letter a nineteenth-century tale of punishment against sin in seventeenth-century Boston misrepresents Puritan life Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter applies a Romantic technique of literature to illustrate Puritanism by tinting situations in the story to a nineteenth century approach By describing Hesters punishment as romantic fantasy rather than Puritan custom Hawthorne imposes Romanticism into The Scarlet Letter The plot initiates as Hester Prynne receives punishment for committing adultery with the clandestine Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale the zenith of divinity within the Boston community As a punishment for her crime Boston magistrates require Hester to wear a letter A on her clothing to remind her and others of her sinful deeds Upon receiving her punishment one towns woman cries out This woman has brought shame upon us all and ought to die Hawthorne 49 The exclamation of the anonymous voice points out the brutality associated with Puritan punishments Conversely Hester lives with a mere mark of shame on her clothing Hawthorne uses idyllic punishment rooted in modern psychology rather than harsh retaliation This is because Romantics believed in the goodness of man rather than their inherent evil In addition the scarlet letter sewed to Hesters clothing romantically portrays punishment with unique elegance On the breast of her gown in fine red cloth surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread appeared the letter A It was so artistically done and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy 51 Hesters punishment is ornate unlike the sad gray brown or black of the English emigrants 228 of Boston Unlike drab Puritan times Hesters punishment is vibrant compared to other Bostonians Hester sparkles with glamour despite her condemnation Romanticism is evident in the gothic details of Dimmesdales
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