The Scarlet Letter Essay

Submitted By baybear17
Words: 464
Pages: 2

Baylee 9-16-12
Scarlet Letter Paper Transcendentalism was popular during the 1800s, which was right in the time when Nathaniel Hawthorne was writing The Scarlet Letter. In order to get an idea of where Hawthorne was coming from in regards to the Transcendentalist movement is important that we know a little about Transcendentalism. Transcendentalism was a philosophy which taught that human problems can be fixed by the development of human emotions. Its basis was on the idea that experience and observation were not the only way to attain knowledge. They believed that the way to the physical world is through their senses and understanding. They learn about the spiritual world by means of reason. Transcendentalists also believed that people should look to their inner self and emphasize individuality. They also taught that the organized churches hinder people from having about god in their own way. This is just a little part of what the Transcendentalists believed. Hawthorne used the ideas of the Transcendentalists when he was writing about the character Hester Prynne. There was one part in the book where the townspeople were talking about her and they said that she didn’t listen to the laws of the land. She judged right and wrong based on her heart and what she felt was right. It is one of the finest examples of Transcendentalism in his book. The Puritan idea of thinking was also shown in The Scarlet Letter. Grace, devotion, prayer, and self-examination were the principles that the Puritans taught were necessary to achieve religious virtue. Hawthorne portrays Reverend Dimmesdale as a very Puritanistic person. He was always praying and being very holy (according to the public). Through this story we can see why two different “religions” are not meant to be mixed. Dimmesdale always wanted to hide his sin of adultery…