ividualsScarlet Letter: Who Should Punish A Sinner? Religion, Society, or IndividualsWho should punish a sinner? Should it be religion, society, or theindividual? In Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter all three affect the main characterHester Prynne. Religion punishes her with the Scarlet Letter, societyostracizes her as punishment, and individually she was able to move on in lifebut still returned to her haunting past where she died.Religion plays a big part in the Scarlet Letter. Hester Prynne wore theScarlet Letter to remind her of the mistake ahe made.
Instaed of taking Pearlaway the people wanted her to wear the “A” for adultry. Hester brought up herchild forcing the the thought of the heavenily father. Hester’s whole lifestylewas altered. She obeyed everyone and for seven years was cursed by standing onthe scaffold. The people’s beliefs strongly enforced the idea that Hester wouldwear the Scarlet Letter, so she did.
It constantly forced the tought of the sinshe had commited and would haunt her for good. “I have thought have death,” saidshe, – “have wished for it, – would even have prayed for it, were it fit thatsuch as I should pray for anything.”Society was an influence on the scarlet letter. People of the townbelieved that Hester was a witch as well as sinner. Society ostracized herbecause no one in the town had ever delt with any kind of sin as adultry so theylooked at her as a witch. The people in a way wanted to ruin her life becausepeople actually thought she was bad.
One of the real canadites that wanted toruin Hester was Mistress Hibbins.Through out the whole story Mistress Hibbins constantly gives Hester herpiece of mind.”Thou thyself wilt see it, one time or another. They say, child, thou art ofthe lineage of the Prince of the Air! Wilt thou ride with me, some fine night,to see thy father.”Individually she was ostracized and critizied no matter where she went.As time went on she helped the people proving there was a true side to HesterPrynne. That led to the “A” no longer standing for adultry but for able.
Whenall had been coming together for Hester it proved that her punnishment from thepeople had turned to a compliament. This shows that individually she was able tohandle the heat of the people. When she became real strong she was able to moveon with life but she faced the fact that her life would never be the same if shedidn’t move back to her haunted town full of dreadful memories. So she did, andthat’s were she died. “I know not! I know not!” she hurridly repeated.
“Better? Yea; so we may both die, and little pearl die with us!” As we know theconclusion Hester did indeed die and lay next to the one she loved, the minister.Who should punish a sinner? Should it be religion, society, or theindividual? In Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter all three affect the main characterHester Prynne. Religion punishes her with the scarlet letter, societyostracizes her as punishment, and individually she was able to move on in lifebut still returned to her haunting past where she died. It proves thatindividually a person hurts themself more then anything. Hester could live onanywhere else, her life wouldn’t be the same.