Guilty In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

Decent Essays

When the modern-day reader indulges in a novel published prior to the 1900s, they may not interpret the author’s work the way it was intended to be understood. A fine example would be The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the beginning of the novel, a young woman named Hester Prynne was found guilty of committing adultery. Her punishment was to wear a scarlet “A” on her chest to cause her to feel shame and to stand on the town’s scaffold for three hours to endure public humiliation. In this scene, Hawthorne assumes that his audience understands how horrifying it was for a woman to be found guilty as an adulterer in the 1600s. As Hawthorne thoroughly depicts, there was no separation between the church and state, so if a woman was found

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