The Scarlet Letter Questions and Answers
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter book cover
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Why did Hawthorne chose Puritan New England as the setting for The Scarlet Letter? Does that location help him get his main message across?

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Puritanism is characterized by the advocation of purity, piety, and conservativism.  The Puritans held strong religious beliefs, especially in regards to sexuality, which amplifies the depth of the sin of adultery that Hester is charged with committing.  Hawthorne used Puritan New England as the setting of...

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