The Scarlet Letter Questions and Answers
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Why is the Puritan Society the antagonists of the Scarlet letter? If you had to pick one would you pick chillingworth or the Puritan Society as the antangonist? Why? Give Examples.

Expert Answers info

mwestwood, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

bookM.A. from The University of Alabama


calendarEducator since 2006

write16,150 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Clearly, Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is an indictment of the intrinsic hypocrisy of the Puritan creed, a stringent and inhumane creed that gave birth to witch hunts.  And, while Chillingworth is certainly the antagonist of the Reverend Dimmesdale and Hester , it is only because of this Puritan creed that he is enabled to be this antagonist.  For, were it possible for Hester and Dimmesdale to be forgiven within their religious community, they could confess.  But, instead, they must harbor secret sin. ( It is only Hester's pregnancy that...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 289 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,967 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

missy575 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write2,291 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


beautifulsunshine16 | Student

because they shun hester and exclude her from society.