Dear Governor Bellingham,
My name is Maxwell Maude. I am a citizen of Boston and I am writing to you regarding my opinion of Hester Prynne. I am aware of the crime that Hester committed and I do believe that it was immoral. However, there are certain nuances of Hester’s case that I would like to review. While I believe that Hester is guilty of adultery under the law, I don’t think she should be prosecuted due to these extenuating circumstances.
As I said before, I believe Hester is guilty as charged; it is obvious that she made the conscious decision to commit adultery. However, there are reasons for which she committed this act that should mitigate her punishment. As you may know, Hester’s husband sent her to the colonies by herself while he remained in Amsterdam. Hester was by herself for an extended period of time; “two years, or less,” in fact, that after a certain point she presumed that her husband was dead. Governor as you know, starting a life in the colonies is not an easy task, and the fact that Hester’s husband forced her to immigrate alone clearly shows how little he values her. So here was Hester was all alone in the new world with the presumption that she had been deserted. Furthermore, she knew her marriage was failing. By deserting her, Hester’s husband technically, but not legally annulled their marriage. As a result, Hester figured it was acceptable to fornicate with another man.
Governor, I must also address the situation of Hester’s little daughter, Pearl. I know that you and your advisors are considering Hester’s custody of Pearl. I also realize that most people believe that Hester should not be Pearl’s guardian. They believe that Pearl will be damned simply because she is being brought up by a mother like Hester. I disagree with them. First of all, I do not believe that Hester deserves all of the hatred she has received from the colony. Second, and more importantly, I don’t think Hester is as evil as...