La lettera scarlatta



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In the seventeenth century Puritans went to America where they found many colonies. Here they introduced their own life-style.
In “The scarlet letter” we have many examples of Puritan habits. Ester Prynne is the leading character of the movie and her behaviours scandalize the other members of the community.
In fact she uses to wear fashionable clothes with many lace, while puritans dressed in a very simple way. She also uses black gloves like all the women of that time. They were their hair cut short with two locks on the cheeks.
In the lunch scene we can see other examples: Puritans ate frugal meals and everybody had to respect some rules. Women had a lot of restrictions: Ester Prynne scandalizes everyone because she goes to live alone, and she buys some servants, while Puritans thought that only men could do this. Puritans also loved work, because they believed that material success was a sign of grace, but it wasn’t convenient for ladies. When a husband died, his wife had to go into mourning for seven years.
Puritans used to wash themselves in the rivers, because they couldn’t use the pool, and they also had to be dressed. For example Misses Prynne surprises everybody because she washes herself in a pool, and we notice that her servant is very astonished.
Puritans had a strict way of life, and they were against all forms of amusement: they prohibited May-pole dancing, horse racing, cock-fighting, bear-bating and drinking.
They wanted more rigor and simplicity in the Church: they abolished all rituals, for example ceremonies, vestments, processions, music, chanting and incense burning.
The mass was celebrated on Saturday and they loved prophetical sermons. In the movie Ester listens to the reverend’s sermon and she is very amazed for its intensity.
In this period there were a lot of lawsuits against the witches, who were considered Devil’s creatures. Ester is accused because her child is seen like the Devil’s son and all people brought the charge against her.
She’s also considered an adulteress and, though her husband is dead, this is a big sin. They stitch a scarlet letter on her breast. This is the symbol of her blame.