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The Scarlet Letter As A Historical Document

             There is much dispute as to whether or not The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, can be a viable document used to understand the 1600s during the time of Puritanism. The many attitudes of Puritan society are presented in such a reality that we can assume, safely, that the commonwealth acted as so, however, to a certain extent. .
             In the introduction of The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne writes about his various meetings with Ellery Channing, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson (Hawthorne pg. 27). These people and their experiences must have sparked something into the story's atmosphere. Real life experiences is sometimes more interesting and, obviously, easier to understand. Vicariously, Nathaniel Hawthorne could have gone the same route exposing his Puritan attitude in the plot of the story. His intuitive senses come to life in character portrayal and true Puritan sensibility. "It is Hawthorne's tendency in art, as in life, to trust intuition rather than analytical reason." Author of Hawthorne's Conception of the Creative Process, Richard J. Jacobsen, also goes on to say " on the intuitions of its great and warm heart, the conclusions thus attained are often so profound and so unerring, as to possess the character of truths supernaturally revealed" (Jacobsen pg. 18). It states here that tru!.
             sting your intuition could very well be more factual and believable than interviewing the person next to you. .
             Morality and what is ethical also plays a necessary part to the development in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. "The mind's eye, or the imagination, is the instrument of moral insight." Imagination is what creates moralistic intuition in the writer (Jacobsen pg. 34-33). Another example that may support morality in the production of The Scarlet Letter, as a historical document, is the study Yvor Winters claims that "Puritans had allegorical morality," as well as the characters in Hawthorne's "chief masterpiece.

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