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Hypocrisy Of The Puritan Society

Decent Essays
The function of the minor characters of Mistress Hibbins, Governor Bellingham, and Mr. Wilson are that they are supposed to symbolize the hypocrisy of the Puritan society. For example, the extreme superstition and religious ideas of the Puritans lead them to presume that Hibbins is a witch. The reason as to why the population is all under this assumption is due to Hibbins frequently speaking of, and inviting people to, her “excursions into the forest” (Hawthorne 101). The significance of this is that it displays the hypocrisy in the society since although she is considered a witch and flaunts it, she has been left untouched because her past husband was once the magistrate and her brother, Bellingham, is the governor. Contrarily, the townsfolk will constantly harass Hester for adultery for being “proud” of her actions, which is ironic for the reason that she has been depicted as miserable for her crimes, while Hibbins has no shame for being a witch . As for Bellingham, he represents how those in power were the most hypocritical shown by the greed they had, but preach God to their followers. An illustration of this is when the author writes “but it is an error to suppose that our great forefathers made it a matter of conscience to reject such means of comfort, or even luxury, as lay fairly within their grasp” (Hawthorne 59). The quote demonstrates that due to his position in the city, Bellingham is capable of living a extravagently, rather than modestly as the Bible states.
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