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Puritan Society Roles
Transcript of Puritan Society Roles
Dangers of Childbirth
Due to unsanitary conditions, children born in the days of the Puritans used to die within days of being born.
Children that survived sometimes suffered from smallpox, influenza, sore throats, or other contagious diseases .
Jobs of Puritan Men
The men had jobs including farming, fishing, hunting, being a part of the clergy, and blacksmithing.
Men held all government positions.
They were expected to be good role models in the community.
Men were in charge of the family’s income.
Juan Miguel Fulgencio
Roles of Men in a Puritan Society
Men were the spiritual heads of the household.
Men were dominant in Puritan society.
Male priests were in charge of the community’s religion.
They were superior to women and had control over their wives.
Men were expected to love their wives and to avoid sin.
Men had to be good examples to their wives by action and instruction.
The Duties and Obligations of Women
Women were expected to be submissive to their husbands.
They are supposed to care for husband, children, and mothers.
Women operated the farm when men were occupied.
They were to produce, discipline and care the next generations of children.
Women held an obligation to dress conservatively.
Relationships of Men and Women
Women were subservient.
Men were ashamed when women rejected their lower statuses.
Women were expected to tolerate extramarital affairs.
Women were invisible in the eyes of society, and not individual.
Women were considered “one” with their husbands.
Should the woman reject her status or responsibility, she would be exiled.
Women and Children
Women taught the children affection and manners.
Women were expected to break the wills of the children to teach discipline.
Women held direct authority over the children.
Men and Children
Men did not have most authority over the children.
The head of household could continue to have children, even if his eldest was already an adult.
If the children were female, the head of household was expected to provide dowries.
Once a child reached the age of ten, the head of household would send him or her off to serve another household as an apprentice.
The men’s control over children was justified in the case that they provided for them.
The Family Household
Children were to automatically be subservient to their parents.
The basis for the relationships was that a good family government reflected a good social government.
The entire household was considered chattel, or property of the head.
The society emphasized a nuclear household, and grown children often lived in houses next to their parents’.
Extended kin weren’t really in the picture.
In Regards to Women
Women were considered morally weak and susceptible to sin. (Eve)
They were secondary to their husbands.
They were spiritually equal.
They were viewed as more disciplined and moral than men.
The Scarlet Letter
Husbands and wives are supposed to love each other to protect one another from sin. Since Chillingworth was never a loving husband for Hester , she fell to temptation and committed adultery. Chillingworth says to Hester, " 'We have wronged each other', answered he. 'Mine was the first wrong, when I betrayed thy budding youth into a false and unnatural relation with my decay.'" (Hawthorne 51-52)
Children were expected to be disciplined and pious. In
The Scarlet Letter
, the governor reacts to Pearl's defiant answer after they asked her who was her creator. "This is awful! Here is a child of three years old, and she cannot tell who made her! Without question, she is equally in the dark as to her soul." (Hawthorne 77)
In a Puritan society, women are considered inferior to men, and they are thought to have more of original sin at birth due to Eve's tempation. in The Scarlet Letter, Hester questions the treatment of women in a Puritan society. "As a first step, the whole system of society is to be torned down... Then, the very nature of the opposite sex... is to be essentially modified, before woman can be allowed to assume what seems a fair and suitable position." (Hawthorne 114)
Children were put to death for using profanity at their parents
Children were sent to other families if they were being disrespectful
Children were expected to go to church everyday
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All relationships are to be strictly adhered to; by concensus belief, Puritans think that in order to have a stable government, family governments must also be stable: that is, strict, and uniform. In connection to
The Scarlet Letter
, multiple problems arise when said belief is disregarded. In most cases, punishment is death, and "[Hester Prynne] has brought shame upon [all women] and ought to die; is there not law for it?" (Hawthorne 40). "The mildest and severest acts of public discipline were alike made venerable and awful," as explained by the narrative (Hawthorn 38).