Arts: The Scarlet Letter and Puritans Essay

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Puritan’s Intolerance Adultery is a crime many people commit in their lives, even back then. The way people view adultery is different. Some can view it harsher than others, and others can look at it as another common thing. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s critical novel The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne’s sin of adultery and its many consequences reveals the intolerance of the Puritans. Hester Prynne is severely tortured by the people in her town. They sent Hester to jail once she began to show. Hester had her baby girl, Pearl, in her jail cell. The puritans made her stand in front of everyone so the people could call her names and give her dirty looks. “This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die…” (5). One of the many harsh words of the women in Boston. Hester had to wear a scarlet letter “A” on her chest for everyone to know what she did. Once out of jail, the people of Boston still called her names as she walked throughout her town. Alongside Hester’s pain, Governor Bellingham was the contributor of this. He sent her to jail, made her stand in front of everyone to allow all these things to go on. He was harsh to Hester, he even threatened to take away her baby. “Nay, we might have judged that such a child’s Mother must needs be a scarlet woman, and a worthy type of her Babylon!...” (61).
Governor Bellingham gave Hester no respect, he just wanted her to suffer. Pearl, Hester’s daughter, also makes it hard for Hester. Pearl’s mischievousness causes much distraught for Hester, Pearl is rude and is careless. Pearl is smart but likes to joke with people and say stuff she shouldn’t. “the child finally announced that she had not been made at all, but had been plucked by her mother off the bush of wild roses that grew by the prison door.” (63). Just one of the many things Pearl says to stir up trouble, which makes it easier for them to hurt Hester. The puritans in Boston made sure Hester suffered everyday due to her sin. In the early years, she was forced to stand on the scaffold in front of everyone. Which included elders, young men and women, and even kids. For many weeks Hester would stand there with Pearl as they judged her, gave her dirty looks, and wished mean things upon her. “At the very least, they should have put the brand of a hot iron of Hester Prynne’s forehead… But she--- the naughty baggage…” (5). The women were the harshest towards Hester. They believed she brought shame to their town so now she had the right to die. Hester was always strong even through the pain they caused her. The first part of the climactic scene shows how Hester is on the scaffold refusing to tell who the father is. This gives the puritans more stuff…