The Scarlet Letter begins with the story of Hester who has to wear a red patch that bears the insignia of A. The A representing Adulterous, Hester must bear the mark to show to the townspeople of who she is. As an adulterer Hester has broken puritan society’s harsh and strict rules. This clear predominant form of puritan society can be shown through this quote in chapter 2.
“The magistrates are God-fearing gentlemen, but merciful overmuch,—that is a truth," added a third autumnal matron. "At the very least, they should have put the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne 's forehead. Madame Hester would have winced at that, I warrant me. But she,—the naughty baggage,—little will she care what they put upon the bodice of her gown! Why, look you, she may cover it with a brooch, or such like heathenish adornment, and so walk the streets as brave as ever!"
This shows how Hester must ...
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...iked to philander too. This man was exactly like Arthur Dimmesdale in some respects. Both of them were guilty of a sin they themselves were condemning. Hypocrisy was present in Puritan society and it endures still even today.
Our societies penance towards hypocrisy exceeds expectations beyond today’s standards. Hester’s world is just a personification of our own and how it isn’t much different from what it used to be a couple hundred years ago. Thus Emerson quotes “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every-one of its members… the virtue in most request is conformity” stating that even people of today conforms to society’s need than break them, being an odd one out of the group is frowned upon, speaking ones minds and thoughts is blasphemous and can be considered treacherous. This is why conformity is the key to acceptance in today’s society.
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