Imagine living in a place where one small sin could define who you are for the rest of your life. That is what happened in The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850. The novel is set in a seventeenth-century Puritan community in Boston, Massachusetts. A young woman by the name of Hester Prynne commits a small act of adultery and is shamed for the rest of her life, by wearing a scarlet letter “A” on her breast. The book is centered around the theme of justice and judgement. According to Gloria Steinem, “Law and justice are not always the same”. This quote means that following the law may not always mean justice is being served. Laws are rules and guidelines that are set up to govern behavior. Laws set out standards, procedures …show more content…
This concept states that all individuals must be treated equally. Laws are made with the intent of establishing justice, but that is not always the case. I agree with this quote because following laws does not always mean justice is being served. Laws define what is right and what is wrong, while justice also takes into consideration the circumstances of the situation at that time. Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter supports Gloria Steinem’s quote that “Law and justice are not always the same.” Support can be seen in the punishment of Hester Prynne, the letter “A” on Hester Prynne’s grave, and the repentance of Arthur Dimmesdale. First, Steinem’s quote can be seen through the Hester’s punishment for her sin. Hester was initially married to a man whom she never loved and was thought to be dead after being lost at sea for five years. After waiting for the arrival of her husband which never came, Hester had an affair with another man and together they produced a child. When Hester had an affair with a man who was not her husband she had committed an act of adultery and had to be punished in the eyes of God and of her community. It was decided that Hester would have to serve time in jail and
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
The law should hold itself to it’s own standards in order to be
These laws are usually created with an unjust representation of the community. When unjust laws exist, individuals need to break that law to reveal the underlying injustice. King argues that an individual must follow the just laws and fight the unjust laws. In contrast to Socrates, King believes, "groups are more immoral than individuals" (King, pg 121). He knows that eventually an individual will have to stand up for themselves and their beliefs, when that time comes the entire society will not fall apart.
Moreover, when a woman becomes pregnant it is a physical sign that makes the promiscuity a known fact. Hester pays a different price from Dimmesdale, who's secret is hidden throughout the story, because she is a woman. This illustrates the inequality between the two. By committing adultery, Hester defies her moral obligations towards her husband. When he arrives in Boston, however, she affirms her submissiveness to him by promising to keep quiet about his true identity.
Merriam-Webster defines poetic justice as a result or occurrence that seems proper because someone who has done bad things to other people is being harmed or punished. Bob Ewell’s death in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is a perfect example of poetic justice. If this statement was made to Atticus, Calpurnia, or Scout, they would all agree with it. Bob Ewell was a nasty man, who was the only character in To Kill A Mockingbird who even remotely deserved to die.
The Scarlet Letter, published in 1850, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne has known to become his masterwork and is thus far his most illustrious novel. A tale of sin and its gruesome consequences, one’s temptation to passionately love, revenge and guilt, and most importantly the immense repercussions of social stigmatizing and public shaming are all profoundly implicated throughout this story Over the course of twenty-four chapters, Hawthorne illustrates the life of Hester Prynne, the female protagonist who has been brutally condemned by the Puritan society to wear an “A” on her bosom as a symbol for adultery, the horrible sin she has committed. Nkechi Diallo, commonly known as Rachel Dolezal, a former civil rights activist and former president
In which case it is required to act against the law so long as the motives are to accomplish justice in the end. Assuming that the goal of a society is to accomplish total justice in it’s rulings it is nessicary to keep the laws of the land in a accordene with what is deemed just. However what is to be done when the laws are not just? King argues that it is not only a right but a moral responsibility to correct the injustice through acts that may violate that law. If we had an abounding
Sadly, in the modern world, adultery is considered the norm and isn’t scrutinized like it used to be. While Hester lived in a completely different world than I did, we still share basic similarities and both believe that we shouldn’t be treated differently because of our flaws and imperfections. Throughout The Scarlet Letter, Hester
Throughout the novel, Hester is fraught by the Puritan society and her suffering is an effect of how evil society is. Hester continues to believe that the crime she committed was not wrong and she should not be punished for it. Her desire to protect and love Dimmesdale, turn her into a stronger person and become a heroine in the book. Although society still views her as a “naughty baggage” (Hawthorne 73) and is punished for her wrongdoing, Hester never thought to take revenge on them, yet she gives everything she has to the unfortunate and leaves herself with very little. She continues to stay positive no matter what society has for her.
Hawthorne described three things in The Scarlet Letter. Sin, guilt, and redemption. Hawthorne uses people to symbolize them. Hester Prynne was one. Hawthorne allows the reader to get a better understanding by using biblical references.
The townspeople “[began] to look upon the scarlet letter as a token, not of that one sin, for which she had borne so long and dreary a penance, but of her many good deeds since.” This quote exemplifies how sin is not a death sentence for Hester. Through hard work and charity it allowed the rigid Puritan society to see her as something different, and as someone who would not let society define who she was. Hester, thus, was not only able to change herself, but also the image in which society viewed her by working hard to benefit the public. Likewise, the scarlet letter which was supposed to represent sin was instead “fantastically embroidered with gold thread, upon her bosom.”
Punishment of Puritans for their sins occurred harshly and frequently, and these punishments ranged from fines, branding, and severe whippings to hanging and death. Many of these penalties involved public humiliation of some kind, which made it extremely difficult for townspeople to accept by their peers after they had sinned. Because the Puritans believed religion was immensely important, the community was often reluctant to allow citizens that exhibited sinful behavior to achieve redemption (Cox). However, in the case of Hester Prynne, an adulterer in Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter, the townspeople eagerly made amends with her. This novel narrates the life of Hester Prynne, who committed adultery and courageously accepted the repercussions
Scarlet Letter Analysis Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, The Scarlet Letter, was published in 1850 and has become one of the most famous books in literature history. The Scarlet Letter starts when a young woman who committed adultery is being shamed by the town, her punishment -- to were a bright red “A” and the bosom of all of her shirts, for the rest of her life. Throughout the book Hester becomes stronger, this is due to the fact that the town as shamed her. Pathetic Fallacy reflects the idea that we need society to guide us and while nature makes us feel good, it is useless and can’t guide us to make good decisions. Nature reflects the way a person feels, but can’t give them any guidance.
The hardships and punishments of both Hester and Dimmesdale, while difficult to endure at the time, were eventually beneficial and allowed them to free themselves from the Puritan community and escape their pain. Hester, throughout the beginning and middle of the book, is forced to face alienation and humiliation from her town, though by the end of the book, she is able to use her punishment to set her free from her society. First, Hester reflects on the effect of her sin, and realizes, “ . . . the torture of her daily shame would at length purge her soul . . .” (72).
It also states that ethics and the law typically go hand in hand, however it is not always the case, as the law must be based on ethical principles for it to be legitimate, and not only on their legal implementation by fear of being punished, ethical principles must take superiority when the law disagrees with ethics (Breit, 2007). Breit (2007) wrote that practitioners should choose the ethical choice rather than following the law, however the choices must be motivated by the right reasons, and the consequences of action must be well thought