Essay about The Scarlet Letter: The Problem with Labeling Other People

Essay about The Scarlet Letter: The Problem with Labeling Other People

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As we read the novel, “The Scarlet Letter,” we were acquainted with the manner the Puritan society branded their sinners contingent on the immoralities they have committed. They believed that punishing these sinners by humiliation was the prominent way for them to bear the cost of their debauchery. Resembling this past our present has been subject to this same form of branding and labeling. We judge the way the Puritan society strictly punished its citizens by putting them on scaffolds where they were publicly humiliated. We hypocritically judge this form of punishment when we are practicing these same immoral acts. Although we are not putting them on scaffolds or literally branding people we are causing them the same kind of degradation and bestowing on them labels that will hurt them the same way.
When conversing about other people there is nothing wrong with using descriptions. Nevertheless people confuse descriptions with labeling. Describing a certain being is what authors and novelists do as they emphasize on the characters in a story. It is acceptable for someone to use these sorts of portrayals to point out a certain person but words like nerd, Emo, loud-mouth, pacifist, racist, and narcissist are all labels. They also often become excuses to discriminate against people and later become forms of prejudice as most people are labeled by race, gender, and religion. The problem with labels is that they are merely assumptions which are mainly derived from opinions and beliefs. In other words, there is a great chance that you are misreading a person when assigning them labels. By doing this we are putting on blinders and seeing only a slim view of what a person is really made of. This form of branding obscures the contents...


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... to everyone else's idea about you. Pretty soon, it affects your life in a much larger way than anyone intended it to. Although at times we do it unintentionally, it does not change the fact that an individual can be hurt by a simple word. The author Jane Porter once wrote, "I never yet heard man or woman much abused that I was not inclined to think the better of them, and to transfer the suspicion or dislike to the one who found pleasure in pointing out the defects of another."
Once we understand why we act in labeling people, we can work on eliminating the habit of labeling others. We can overcome it by promoting absolute approval, sympathy, and consideration. We can learn to observe and experience the world without judgment. We can remain detached from expectations and demands. We can learn to accept people as they are and will not cause them unnecessary pain.

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