Hester Prynne Punishment Quotes

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The Scarlet Letter narrates the story of Hester Prynne, a recently married young woman sent to America in search of a new and better life, despite the fact her husband, Roger Prynne aka Dr. Roger Chillingworth had remained in England for the purpose of business. She had moved to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the early 1640’s. The book begins with Hester’s emergence from the town’s jail wearing the scarlet letter A embroided on her dress and holding a baby. The scarlet letter is a mark that women convicted of adultery were forced to wear among the Puritans during 17th century New England. The Puritans had been a group of people who sought to purify the Church of England from all Roman Catholic practices. She is forced to stand upon a scaffolding …show more content…

In chapter 2 it states, “a penalty, which in our days, would refer a degree of mocking infamy and ridicule, might then be interested with almost as strong a dignity as the punishment of death itself.” This quote depicts how during the 1600’s being publicly shamed was on the same scale of death. It shows how people cared what was thought about them, so this form of punishment was applicable. The opinions of people still weigh heavy on people in society today with trying to fit in and stand out as better. Upon being publicly shamed, she eventually sees her husband standing in the crowd. He gestures her to be quiet and not to reveal his identity as her husband. She is questioned by many about who the father of her baby is, the governor and eldest clergy man have Reverend Dimmesdale to reveal the father, and she refuses. I feel that Hester has shown courage and strength but society views her as sinful and evil and even though society has shunned and condemns her. While Dimmesdale has shown cowardness and weakness but society views him as righteous. After refusing she is giving a punishment of three hours on the scaffold, a lifetime of wearing the scarlet letter on her chest and put back in her jail cell. The Scarlet Letter emphasizes the fact that the only opinion that matters should be

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