Essay on The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1031 Words Oct 2nd, 2015 5 Pages
“A mockery at which angels blushed and wept, while fiends rejoiced, with jeering laughter” (Hawthorne 101). The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the article “Concerns Raised on ‘Scarlet Letter’ for Drunk Drivers,” by Toni Locy, both provided very different examples of public shaming. Both show the pros and cons of shaming by either telling a story or explaining people’s opinions. The Scarlet Letter provides a historic view on shaming during the Puritan times. A woman named Hester is forced to wear an embroidered scarlet letter to show that she has sinned. She is also made to stand on a scaffold to be shamed for her sin. The article represents a modern twist on the subject. A Weld Administration in Massachusetts recently made a very controversial proposition to mark driver’s licenses of people who have been caught for drunk driving. The Scarlet Letter uses adultery as a sin being publicly shamed to show how there is a large audience to people shaming; however, “Concerns Raised on ‘Scarlet Letter’ for Drunk Drivers” uses drunk driving to show a smaller, but significant backlash. Shaming someone in public is not the best way to get him or her to change because people deserve the chance to redeem themselves, the wrongdoing is a private affair, and the shaming could be a gateway to other punishments that may not be morally or lawfully correct.
Shaming people in public stops people from being able to show that they are capable of correcting their mistakes. Toni Locy…

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