Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Needs Of Safety In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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“It is human nature to want patterns, standards, and a structure of behavior. A pattern to conform to is a kind of shelter. ” This quote can be considered valid or invalid depending on the person who is reading the quote. Whether it is someone like the Puritans in the Scarlet Letter who believes that life should be lived in a strict manner, or whether it is someone who cannot stand a uniform life, there will be never a time when everyone accepts or denies this quote.

People feel safe and confident when they are given standards or expectations. This gives them reassurance that they are living their lives the right way. For an example, in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, the townspeople look down upon Hester Prynne because of the crime she committed. Hester Prynne broke a law which reinforced the bystander’s confidence on how they were living their lives. This causes the townspeople to feel safe and protected so they decide to mock and taunt Hester to make themselves feel stronger.

People also conform to live their lives in a strict manner because sometimes they just need guidance. After Hester was released from prison, she decided to live her life helping the poor and elderly. Hester does this because she is lost and does not know how to live her life anymore after she strayed off the strict path the Puritans were suppose to follow. Although many may find happiness in a habitual lifestyle, many other people may find happiness in a carefree life. Living a life without patterns or standards can help greatly in a positive way.

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Living an unpredictable life allows the person to be able to experience many different things that will teach them how to be insightful and decide right from wrong. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester commits adultery which is deviating from the path a Puritan is suppose to take. But because of what she did, she was able to give birth to her daughter who she loves so much, find the man she truly loves, and see the hidden darkness that was buried deep within Roger Chillingworth’s heart. Because she decided to stray from the path a puritan is suppose to take, her life turned out for the better.

In the quote,” It is human nature to want patterns, standards, and a structure of behavior. A pattern to conform to is a kind of shelter”, it has become clear that depending on the reader, whether they are someone who likes a unchanging lifestyle, or whether they are someone who enjoys experiencing something new every day, it is up to them to decide if they feel safe to agree or disagree to this quote. No matter if the reader chooses to disagree or agree to the quote, both choices come with negative and positives outcomes.

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