"Woman, transgress not beyond the limits of Heaven's mercy!" cried the Reverend Mr. Wilson, more harshly than before. "That little babe hath been gifted with a voice, to second and confirm the counsel which thou hast heard. Speak out the name! That, and thy repentance, may avail to take the scarlet letter off thy breast."
"Never," replied Hester Prynne, looking, not at Mr. Wilson, but into the deep and troubled eyes of the younger clergyman. "It is too deeply branded. Ye cannot take it off. And would that I might endure his agony as well as mine!"
"Speak, woman!" said another voice, coldly and sternly, proceeding from the crowd about the scaffold, "Speak; and give your child a father!"
"I will not speak!" answered Hester, turning pale as death, but responding to this voice, which she too surely recognized. "And my child must seek a heavenly father; she shall never know an earthly one!" (Norton Anthology, pg. 488) No matter how much they badgered Hester she did not bulge. The importance of keeping this anonymous man from the scandal proves she loved this man and did not want to humiliate him like she was being humiliated nor cause any additional shame on little Pearl. Guilty was what Hester was in the eyes of the Puritans, and Puritan government punished her in a way that all would know her crime. [It was Puritan asceticism] which fixed the scarlet letter to the breast of Hester Prynne, and which drove Arthur Dimmesdale into a life of cowardly and selfish meanness, that added tenfold disgrace and ignominy to his original crime.
To have borne a child out of wedlock would be admittance of guilt of adultery and fornication. It is sad alone that Hester had a child but to do it while being married to another man was downright disrespectful to her husband, weather dead or alive, and her child. Women in the Puritan faith were considered pure, clean, and holy. For a man and woman to commit such sexual acts then they should become one in a union of matrimony. Since Hester had committed such an act of ungodliness she was sentenced to a lifetime of wearing the “Scarlet Letter of an ‘A’ on her chest to be seen by all so that all…