Young Goodman Brown and Other Hawthorne Short Stories

Getting Lost Along the Way 12th Grade

Getting Lost Along the Way

Various social movements have shaped society politically, economically, and religiously as centuries have passed. Religion especially has had a momentous impact. During the 16th and 17th centuries, a reform movement known as Puritanism spread voraciously. Puritans sought to take their passion for their religion (Protestant) and rewrite and equalize the faith of the entire nation. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Puritans believed that it was necessary to be in a covenant relationship with God in order to redeem one from one’s sinful condition, that God had chosen to reveal salvation through preaching, and that the Holy Spirit was the energizing instrument of salvation.” A covenant is a two-way promise between two beings. Since this word is more commonly associated with religion, it usually means a promise between a mortal and divine being, such as God. A reformation founded passionately about promises can be dangerous. There is a severe consequence for those who break or can’t keep them: “condemnation to hell” (Gettysburg).

This movement made such a notable impression on society that it remained a topic of literary interest for authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne two hundred years later....

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