In "The Scarlet Letter," why is Ann Hutchinson sent to prison?

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cybil eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anne Hutchinson disagreed with the religious authorities in Salem in several ways, including whether a person needed a minister to direct his religious life. Contrary to the teaching of the church at that time, she held religious gatherings in her home and led discussions that countered the church's emphasis on "preparation," a concept that concerned how a sinner considered his sin and the state of his soul to earn divine grace. An intelligent and gentle woman, she was a midwife and therefore had contact with many women in the community. The authorities feared her influence would spread. Eventually she was expelled from Salem.

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anne Hutchison was put in prison and eventually banished from the Massachusetts Bay colony for her religious views. She had begin a women's Bible study that soon included men and began to teach that free will was more important than works in gaining salvation. She was a leading figure in the fight for religious tolerance in Massachusetts. After being banished, she fled to Rhode Island where she helped establish religious tolerance in that colony. After her husband died, she moved to the New York area and died when Indians attacked the area and killed her and "five of her six children".

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The Scarlet Letter

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