Public Shaming In The 19th Century

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Semester Research In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, society publicly humiliates Hester Prynne for her crime of adultery. As a consequence of her adulterous act, Hester is forced onto a podium while being scrutinized for her passionate misdeed. Furthermore, Hester is bound to wear the scarlet “A” on her breast as a public symbol of wrongdoing. In today's society, there are a staggering amount of judges that still use public humiliation as a punishment they deem suitable. Despite its appeal to judges in the court of law and the media's apparent fascination with it, public humiliation should not be used as a punishment.
We, as citizens of the United States of America, have the right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We live in a new era where some punishments such as public shaming may not be socially accepted anymore. Today “In this day and age, biblical punishments are just not appropriate: neither an eye for an eye, nor a tooth for a tooth, or
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Unlike today, the 18th and 19th century consisted of public shaming which served as an effective punishment due to the lack of long distance communication. However, today in the 21st century, with the implication on long term communication, public shaming is easily broadcasted to many more people than just the local community. Public Shaming began “to fall out of favor in part because America was becoming more populous and Impersonal”(Beato). Public shaming includes many inconsistencies with the severity of the punishment. For instance, when two of the same pictures appeared on the internet, only one picture became famous while the other picture went almost unnoticed. This goes to show that the severity of the punishment is often unknown and in many cases does not serve justice to the

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