Scarlet Letter Analysis

Topics: Puritan, Symbol, John Winthrop Pages: 2 (518 words) Published: November 11, 2006
Scarlet Letter Analysis

In a passage from The Scarlet Letter, the narrator concocts a sense of a judgmental and somewhat contemplative attitude toward the Puritan society. The narrator's stance is emphasized mainly on the author's description of the Puritans and his use of symbolism to describe their community. Throughout the passage, the Puritans are described in such a sense that characterizes them as a monotonous and ruthless society governed by laws and religion. As the Puritans are standing outside the prison, they all shared the same "bearded physiognomies." The narrator is being contemplative in saying this because it suggests the Puritans are a lifeless society. Not only do the Puritans seem insensible but the reader can infer they are also unimaginative when he states "in that early severity of the Puritan character, an inference of this kind could not be so indubitably be drawn" meaning the Puritans are not capable of thinking for themselves. The narrator suggests the Puritans are a very monotonous society by describing all the possible culprits that might exit the prison. Compared to the Puritans, these possible personas are characterized by out-of-the-norm qualities that further support the narrator's judgmental attitude toward them. The narrator also describes the ruthlessness of the Puritan society, in particular the women. The narrator also suggests the Puritan people are ruthless and punishing due in part to their religion. An aspect of the Puritan religion is described in an introspective manner that relates to their punishing manner. "It might be that an Antinomian, a Quaker, or other heterodox religionist was to be scourged out of the town…" This condemnatory statement indicates that "different" can be rewarded by punishment in the Puritan society. The women, in particular, are detailed in an indubitably contemplative manner as they stand outside the prison. This is especially seen when the narrator states that "morally, as well as...
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