Oh, you silly Puritans

The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, has been interesting to say the least. I’m a pretty straightforward guy, I didn’t enjoy the majority of the book; the main reason for this being that there wasn’t a whole ton of plot. After 200 pages of drudgery, falling asleep while reading four or five times, and countless notes, the book finally picked up. Hawthorne wove everything together at the end, and it was only through intense scrutiny that I was able to understand the book. I enjoyed the last 30 pages, but they were so incredibly hard to get to. Despite the roller coaster of reading The Scarlet Letter, a pretty boring roller coaster to be honest, one main concept stood out to me: Puritan society.

If you read my previous post, you would know that I follow rules really well. It’s a sucky life, but it’s who I am. With this in mind, I would be a fabulous Puritan. I have four ancestors who rode the Mayflower. I can’t help it, it’s in my blood (I know the Puritans and Pilgrims are different, but they’re pretty similar). I would fit right into Puritan society. I often feel like a Puritan because I pursue perfection, and if I can’t be perfect I do my best to hide my imperfections. Thus when Hawthorne pointed out the hypocrisy of Puritan society, he was confirming something I already knew to be true. Striving for perfection, often but doesn’t always, lead to hypocrisy. This is how The Scarlet Letter has impacted me. Thanks Hawthorne, it’s good to know that I don’t need to be perfect. In fact, I believe you’re telling me it’s worse to reach for perfection.

-PrinceBradley

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5 thoughts on “Oh, you silly Puritans

  1. Thanks for supplying this honest post, princebradley. The fact that you supplied your own feedback about the book in addition to responding to the prompt added a level of interest to your post. I also like your ending thought, that perfection is not always a healthy aim, and that you are working to change your perfectionism. I also struggle with perfectionism. One thing that you could strengthen is your use of support from the text to back up your conclusions about Hawthorne’s message. As it is, though, excellent job.

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  2. Drew, what a funny, concise post!! Your humorous little comments made the piece enjoyable and relatable. I appreciated that you were honest about your feelings while reading 🙂 Also, the reader is able to connect with you when you discuss your characteristics and how that relates to the novel. How in the world did you trace your ancestry back to the Pilgrims? That’s pretty neat 🙂 For future posts, I would suggest expanding more on the actual point you are making. You discuss the difficulty of reading the novel, and then you talk about your personality and ancestry. That is valuable and fascinating, but you only addressed the actual prompt in the last half of the last paragraph. I would have prefered more exploration into the theme of perfection vs flaws, or perhaps guilt and hypocrisy. It’s an incredibly complex and multi-faceted topic that holds many opportunities for discussion. But overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the post; you are a very engaging author!!

    ~Katie

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  3. Hi Drew! I enjoyed the bluntness of your post, as well as how you give your opinion rather than having an impersonal/passive voice. My favorite aspect about your post was how you identified with a concept in the book that I viewed as unexpected and how this demonstrated how well you know yourself. Additionally, identifying with that usually negative aspect of the Puritans was vulnerable on your part, which I appreciated. I also really liked how you addressed Hawthorne at the end.

    Improvements: A minor one- there are some sentences in which the use of the comma is not employed properly, for example: “Striving for perfection, often but doesn’t always, lead to hypocrisy”. The comma should be after often and “lead to hypocrisy” should be “leads to hypocrisy” because perfection is a singular noun.

    Magnificent post, Prince Bradley. Deseando ver más de tu literatura.

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  4. Drew- I loved this post. I like how you were honest and frank during your description of the book. I appreciate how honest you are with the reader about the (some what detrimental) action pursuing of perfection.
    You say that Hawthorne conveys a message about the hypocrisy of the puritans. I would have enjoyed further elaboration and discription as to how Hawthorne does so.
    Other than that, fantastic job!

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  5. Drew, I really appreciated your perspective on the scarlet letter. In this concise post, you are able to clearly show us your main take away from the book, and your opinion of it. It was quite funny. One small improvement you could make in the future is just to check for grammar errors and other details so that it flows a little smoother. Also, maybe go a little more in depth in your points. Other than that, it was a great post!

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