Puritan was the name given in the 16th century to the more extreme Protestants with in the Church of England who thought that the English Reformation had not gone far enough in reforming the doctrines and structure of the church. The Puritans inquisitorially quested personal godliness and doctrinal correctness in addition to believing in absolute sovereignty of God, the total depravity of man, and the complete dependence of human beings on depravity of man, and the complete dependence of human beings on divine grace for salvation. They stressed the importance of personal religious experience (Williams 12).
But this some what "impeccably flawless- religion, along with others, had its corollaries. The perpetual focus on sin affected the Puritan community as a bad apple in a barrel. The bad apple rapidly disseminates until the whole barrel is vitiated. .
During the 19th century Poe and Hawthorne were among the many prominent writers. The Romantic literary movement was at its height, but Hawthorne and Poe strayed from typical Romantic writings with their darker tales concerning sin and morality (www.trackstar.com).
The following pages will examine the way sin affected the Puritan Community in the Scarlet Letter. First, they explain the history of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Then, they explore the sin and according punishment for the Puritan Community. Finally, they show how the sin affected the Puritans (Shepard 5). .
Nathaniel Hawthorne, born in Salem, Massachusetts, July 4, 1804 and died May 11, 1864, was the first American writer to apply artistic judgment to Puritan society. Hawthorne was heavily influenced by his Puritan heritage. One of Hawthorne's forefathers was Judge Hathorne, who presided over the Salem witch trials in 1692. Hawthorne carried so much guilt for his ancestor's participation in the infamous trials that he felt compelled to change his last name, adding a "w" to change it from Hathorne to Hawthorne (Cerrito 165).