In the seventeenth century the puritans lived through relationships, religion, community, discipline and punishment in a way that would bring honor and glory to God. In The Scarlet Letter, the puritans of seventeenth century Boston society were a fate driven religious group that would not accept sin of any kind without punishment. The type of punishment they would use the most was that of public humiliation and to be taunted by the community around the one who committed the crime or sin. In Hester Prynne's case, her crime was adultery, which was most commonly punishable by death. Instead of death, the community branded Hester Prynne with a letter "A" for the rest of her life and made her stand in front of the whole community as an example for everyone that sin and corruption was not accepted in their society.
Relationships between men and women were very constrained, which is what made adultery such a bad sin in the eyes of everyone of the community. Men had more rights than women did and that is why anything Hester would have said could not have possibly helped her. Religion seemed to be what governed over all, people would look up to reverends and the community believed that fate was their destiny. In the seventeenth century everything was very strict and everyone was expected to to follow the laws, which makes Hester's sin such a good example of the beliefs of that time period. This type of punishment was used not only to humiliate, but to discourage people from breaking the laws and committing the same sin or crime.
As the nineteenth century came about Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter, making the setting in Boston, taking place in the seventeenth century. Although The Scarlet Letter was written about seventeenth century Salem, the problems of the past affect the future as evidenced by the personal guilt that Hawthorne, being of a Puritan heritage, reveals concerning his past. The nineteenth century was a place of...
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