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Word Count: 1,295
The Road of a Religion Throughout The Scarlet Letter author Nathaniel Hawthorne continuously uses the image of a road or path as a metaphor for the limited individual freedom within the Puritan religion The road an entity that demands adherence to a dictated direction is similar to the structure of Puritanism which defines a set of strict moral laws that must be followed On pages 159-160 the passage that begins with The road and ends with find them bright is an ideal example of Hawthornes use of the road as a metaphor Hawthornes diction in this passage also suggests that the physical and therefore metaphoric Puritan road is constructed in such a way that makes deviancy almost inevitable In this passage Hester and Pearl walk on a physical road whose qualities make it difficult to follow In the same way Puritans must traverse a religion that is inherently flawed and often leads the individual astray from its path Hawthorne employs the symbolic connotations of a road or path in order to demonstrate the strict religious beliefs of the Puritan life Roads are traditionally used to symbolize something that is planed out easy to follow or hard to stray off from In this passage Hawthorne wisely uses a road to portray the Puritan lifestyle that both Hester and Pearl are a part of The idea of uniformity was practiced throughout the Puritan community Puritans were required to follow a strict set of religious laws and ideals to stay pure To deviate from these laws and ideals broke the uniformity and therefore was sinful and was punished to a great extent The idea of uniformity is identical to the connotations of a road or path A road just like the Puritan society is uniform its distinguishable planed out paved easy to follow and it doesnt change Another main idea within the Puritan community was the disallowance of toleration They did not tolerate any behavior outside their
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