Hypocrisy In Scarlet Letter

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Towards the end of chapter five in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne, in addition to her personal guilt as a result of her sin, is subjugated to humiliation due to the townspeople’s actions. Isolation caused by the behavior of people around her prompts Hester to reseed into herself, which leads Hester to a realization that not only disgusts her, but provides evidence of hypocrisy within the practice of beliefs that the Puritan town is structured.
In this section, Hawthorn describes Hester’s submission to pain inflicted by humiliation cast upon her by townspeople: Hester resists the urge to fight back, instead pushing down her reaction and accepting the punishments doled out by her community. For example Hester “[schools] herself long and well” …show more content…

An example is when Hester enters the town’s church as to “share the Sabbath smile of the Universal Father” and is meet with distain from the members of the community as they highlight her as other by making her “the text of discourse”(80). Even with in the town, playing children “babbled [insults] unconsciously” at her, for their parents obviously entertain themselves by discussing Hester, providing the chance for the children to “imbibe from [them]” that she had done something wrong (80). In addition to children Clergymen also address Hester in the streets, drawing conflicted citizens into a “ mingled [grinning] and [frowning] crowd”(80). As a whole the citizens of the town don’t have the same set of moral codes for if they did there would be no evidence of mix emotion within the crowd of onlookers. All and all Hester’s internal conflict over her sin comes from her belief in puritan morals, where the punishment condemned on her from the townsfolk can not be similarly linked to their Christian

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