The Scarlet Letter And The Price Of Shame TED Talk

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In both The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Price of Shame TED Talk by Monica Lewinsky there is a consistent theme of navigating through and dealing with the repercussions of committing adultery. This is shown through both physical things that you can see but also mental ideas that you cannot see. Some things that you can see are ideas of public humiliation which can lead to devastating mental consequences as humiliation is one of, if not the most powerfully felt emotion. Another one of the main ideas in both the works is that although an individual can make a grave mistake, that mistake does not define them. A main point in both of the works, shame often feels more justified when the individual being shamed is being shamed because …show more content…

While Monica Lewinsky was not physically made to stand on a physical scaffold in the center of town, the newly created internet acted in a similar way, a forum for public humiliation. Early on in The Scarlet Letter, we see Hester being walked from the jail to the scaffold to serve her penalty for adultery, this being to show her newly sewn on red “A” in the marketplace. The man escorting her says “Come along, madam Hester, and show your scarlet letter in the market-place” (47). This first chapter mainly details Hester’s punishment of being publicly humiliated in the center of town as in the time period this book was written, adultery was considered a criminal offense. In modern times, adultery is no longer a criminal offense. Despite this, it is still morally wrong and although there is not a criminal punishment, there is often still humiliation for those involved. A prime example of this is Monica Lewinsky. She was the woman that President Bill Clinton had an affair with while serving as the President of the United States of America. Even though she did not end up in legal trouble for her actions, there was a lot of fallout with people reacting to her choices. She stated that after news broke on the internet that there was a large “rush to judgment, enabled by technology, led to mobs of virtual stone-throwers” (Lewinsky). After the news of her actions …show more content…

In The Scarlet Letter it takes Hester a very long time to realize this and even when she is set to stop wearing the scarlet letter she feels as if it had become “the center of more remark and excitement” (202). When she was set to cast the letter aside, it rekindled some of the publicly held beliefs of the past about her letter. Even though some people still thought of her poorly, she had mostly proved that people can change and do not always have to be defined by past mistakes. Although it is important to know that past mistakes do not define an individual, that does not mean that they just go away. Lewinsky is “reminded of (her) mistake and (she) regret(s) that mistake deeply”(Lewinsky). She has managed to reform herself from this mistake even though she is still reminded of it, she is not defined by it. She is now an activist and writer. She also has her own line of hand bags and also starred in a few advertisements before being pulled from the air as the advertising company decided that they did not want her as the face of their

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