Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850. The setting of the novel is Boston during the Puritan era, where a woman (Hester Prynne) who is not married gets pregnant which makes her an adulteress. Her punishment for adultery is to wear a the scarlet letter “A.” on her chest as a visible representation of her sin. The town then basically shuns her, especially because she does not disclose the identity of pearl’s (her child’s) father. She is constantly scolded as a sinner and the whole time the baby's father is the highly admired minister, who deals with his own guilt by self ruin.
In Chapter 24, "Conclusion," Hawthorne disrupts his story and states his overall theme of The …show more content…
The hypocrisy in the Scarlet Letter is revealed through all aspects of this novel. Including the puritan society. The Puritans were supposed to be strict believers in the Bible, following all the rules verbatim, but the Bible taught acceptance and absolution. If that was truly how the Puritans believed, then a prison would not be the first thing that was built in the colony. Ways to punish people would not be the first thought that came to mind when creating the society. For people who believe in forgiveness and rehabilitation from sin they surely do not show it.
Through the penance and punishment of Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth, and the irony of puritan society, Hawthorne tries to show the reader that hypocrisy is a sin deeper than adultery and just as worthy of punishment. Adultery seems like it may be the main theme in The Scarlet Letter, but only because it is what earned Hester the scarlet letter. The real sin is a product of what adultery caused to come out in everyone else. This novel was meant to highlight the hypocrisy in Puritan society, and in the people that make up the society. The Scarlet Letter was meant to bring to light just how much of a sin hypocrisy is, and just how it causes so much suffering and