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According to Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter, what two necessities must the founders of...

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metzger | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 6, 2012 at 2:14 AM via web

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According to Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter, what two necessities must the founders of a new colony provide immediately?

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted October 6, 2012 at 2:57 AM (Answer #1)

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The founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognised it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison.

In the second paragraph of Chapter 1, "The Prison Door", the unnamed narrator tells the reader that there are two things the founders are two things that must be created as soon as a new society is built: a cemetery and a prison.  This is an important way to begin the novel.  Hawthorne is telling the reader that this society was founded with the hopes of being a Utopian society, but also with the realization that people will commit crimes and will die, so no matter how perfect the founders believe the society will be, they know that they have to plan for these by building a place to hold those who commit the sins and a place to bury them when they die.

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