“The Scarlet Letter” is set in Puritan times when morals and beliefs greatly affected daily existence and people’s belief structure. The functional physical setting of “The Scarlet Letter” is to both foreshadow what will come and relate to the actual events occurring. For example, in the beginning of the story, the cemetery can represent the negativity in the following scene where Hester is made fun of at the scaffold. The forest represents evil because it is where witch meeting are held. Daylight symbolizes truth and reality for Hester because it is when her and Pearl have to face all the judgment as a result of the sin Hester committed. At certain points in the story, the night symbolizes peace for Hester because it was the only time her wild daughter Pearl was calm and asleep.
In my opinion, yes “The Scarlet Letter” is an early feminist novel. If Hester had been a man, I don’t feel she would have received the same punishment or torture. I feel like if she was a guy the towns people would not have been as hard on her and she wouldn’t have had to worn the scarlet letter. Typically, people are more judgment and harder on women than they are on men. Especially in times back then, women had barely any rights or freedoms. Women are usually looked down on more in society. Rather than just outing Dimmesdale’s secret, Chillingworth decided to screw with his head instead. Chillingworth could have just revealed Dimmesdale’s secret but that would have been not as fun as torturing him. It made him happy to see Arthur suffer. Hester thought that Roger Chillingworth was dead, that is why the sin of adultery was committed. So throughout majority of the story, Arthur Dimmesdale didn’t even know that Chillingworth was Hester’s husband. Chillingworth basically lives for revenge and suffering