Essay on The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1115 Words May 27th, 2016 null Page
Everybody has their secrets, things no one would expect of them. Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale are prime examples of this in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter. After Hester Prynne makes her way into the Massachusetts colony where Dimmesdale lives, they eventually become lovers and she becomes pregnant with his child. While no one in the community is sure of the identity of the father, they treat Hester with revulsion and punish her for her actions. Hester’s crime causes her to face new realities of life, now being known as the community adulterer. The novel raises the question of what punishments are given from society to those who have committed a moral wrong and the effects of the punishment on the person. Hawthorne provides many ideas of moral principles with different points of view throughout the book, however, a direct statement from himself is made in the ending. Hawthorne 's deliverance of this question reveals the harsh works of a society in the time period and gives the reader an opportunity to think about his or her own actions. After the revelation that Hester had indeed committed the crime of adultery and would be birthing an illegitimate child, the colony seeks to punish her. Law and religion at this time were very much intertwined and, “there was very much the same solemnity of demeanor on the part of the spectators,” (Hawthorne, 37). Society as a whole agrees on the same morals based on the word of God which also dictates the law system. When…

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