The Scarlet Letter, about hypocracy in the Scarlet Letter

Essay by ptpete25High School, 12th gradeA-, March 2005

download word file, 2 pages 3.5

Downloaded 26 times

The Scarlet Letter Essay

Relevant throughout human history, hypocrisy intrigues people, and shows itself in popular figureheads. Nathanial Hawthorne shows this human interest in The Scarlet Letter. The novel's main character, Hester Prynne, commits adultery and a puritan town punishes her. The Christian town believes strongly in the bible and deals with sins like adultery very harshly. Since numerous occasions of hypocrisy happen, it can charm the interest of readers, and is found throughout modern and ancient literature.

In today's modern times, sinful nature is dealt with at the personal level. In the time of the plot of The Scarlet Letter, a Hester's transgression was dealt with publicly. The story has it that a scarlet letter "A" would be worn by Hester at all times while she was in public, reminding everyone who sees her of her heinous crime. This punishment would never yet harsh allowed her to continue life and gave her a chance to gain back respect over time.

Adultery or pre-marital relations are common and aren't publicly dealt with.

The story of Hester Prynne involves a puritan township. The people surrounding Hester weren't accepting of other belief structures and didn't allow anything to threaten their way of life. Their reverend is at the top of the social structure and the entire settlement goes to listen to him each Sabbath and church day. Though a societies in this type of situations have a trend of failing to rise to greatness, the heart of the people is in the wrong place and people who condemn are doing so hypocritically, for they have also sinned and are aware of it. If forced on others too seriously, religious places like these can inflict wrongdoing.

Though hidden in this particular situation, the situation the townspeople put Hester in is...