Hawthorne's Views of the Puritan Culture.
"The principal action of The Scarlet Letter occurs in the Boston of 1640's, a somber, gray, violently moral community founded as a kind of Puritan utopia." In this book the Puritan lifestyle is clearly misrepresented. Hawthorne's words clearly express his distaste for the Puritan culture and lifestyle, which he shows through his depiction of the townspeople's hypocrisy, and also through his representation of the priests and the governor's greed. .
Nathaniel Hawthorne is born with a biased against this culture; this is because of his ancestral lineage to one of the leading participants in the Salem Witch Trials. It was because of this lineage that Hawthorne likely changed his name. His family name at his birth was Nathaniel Hathorne (which was not spelled with a "W"), though after Hawthorne had done some extensive research on the Salem Witch Trials and the Puritan culture, he became disgusted with their entire way of life and thence added a "W" to his family name which he carried until his death. Though this change was not apparent in the reading, it clearly affected the overall attitude of the book. Though there are also many examples of Hawthorne's distaste for the culture directly from the text.
One of the most prominent examples from the text about Hawthorne's negative attitude towards the Puritans is the hypocrisy that he imbeds in so many of the characters. Hawthorne's depiction of the hypocrisy of the townswomen is one prevalent example. At the beginning of the novel when Hester is forced to stand upon the scaffold and serve out her sentence for her sin, the townswomen heckle and ridicule her for what she had done. They repeatedly stress their desire for Hester to receive the death penalty instead of the sparing sentence that she received. Hawthorne later in the book make this ironic by bringing into the novel Hester's belief that she is not the only person to commit these sins.