The Scarlet Letter is a novel that's deals with the topic of sin in Puritan society. The author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, addresses sin in the book quiet frequently, this essay addresses how Hawthorne really thought about sin and it's aspects like punishment.
The Scarlet Letter is a novel that deals with the theme of sin. Throughout history, people have committed all types of sins, and whether they are major or minor, people have been punished. However, the severity of a punishment is very difficult to agree on. Some people feel that sinners should be harshly punished no matter how little the wrongdoing was. Others feel that a person's punishment should be based upon the severity of their crime. However, what many people overlook is the fact that in time, we all have committed sins. .
In The Scarlet Letter, the idea of sin and punishment is the main theme of the novel and how Hester Prynne, the main character, has been punished for her sin of adultery. As Nathaniel Hawthorne states in this novel, "In the view of Infinite Purity, we are sinners all alike." This statement puts a big question mark on the true lives of the Puritans. If we all have once committed a moral wrongdoing, why is this young woman so harshly punished for her sin? .
Hester Prynne was a young woman living in a Puritan community in the "New World." Her husband, Roger Chillingworth was said to be lost at sea, and Hester assumed his death. Upon this basis, young Hester committed a crime of adultery with her fellow Minister Arthur Dimmesdale. The result of this extra marital affair was the birth of young Pearl, an "elf-like" child. When the townspeople become aware of what Hester has done, they forced her to wear an ultimate sign of punishment, the scarlet letter. This letter "A" for adultery had to be worn on Hester's bosom at all times. .
When one analyzes the punishment inflicted upon her, it may seem harsh and cruel, especially for a Puritan society.