Document Type

Sophomore Honorable Mention

Award Date

Fall 2009

Course Name

Literary Explorations I


Audrey Wells


In recent years, many occurrences—from hurricanes to medical rarities to pictures on pieces of toast—have been labeled acts of God. Those who disagree attribute this association to the idea that people read what they want into a situation. Similar comparisons were made in the time of the Puritans, although theirs tended to be taken more seriously and often held authority in government or court. Still, the idea that these “messages from God” are subconsciously interpreted to fit personal beliefs can also be applied to those of Massachusetts Bay. In his novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne shows that when events in the book appear to be messages from God, they are actually reflections of how the characters perceive themselves and each other.