Theme Of Punishment In The Scarlet Letter

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After committing a crime one must receive a punishment for the crime. Punishments come from the judicial system and can vary in their effectiveness and the strength of the punishment. The punishment has the potential to influence the criminal and community also. The government that enforces all punishments has many theocratical characteristics that change the harshness of the punishment. The community may not view the change in the harshness of the punishment in a positive way. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, The Scarlet Letter, the puritan religion of the Massachusetts Bay Colony controls the political and judicial system making the public view religion as a government. Religious based political decisions can destroy the veracity of …show more content…

The public thinks Hester, “ought to die” (Hawthorne 39). In a majority of legal cases in the Massachusetts Bay Colony the judicial system punishes the adulterer with a death sentence. The community’s hatred for Hester grows because of their unity. Any just group handling criminals needs to ignore the community’s persistent attempt to alter its’ views. Hawthorne shows the lack of mercy for Hester the community possesses because she of her criminal act with Arthur Dimmesdale. Only the justice system make the decision for the punishment Hester should receive. The “New-Englanders” believe “specific penalties should be the inevitable result of particular crimes” (“Hawthorne's Model of Christian Charity.” 348). A majority of the people in the Massachusetts Bay Colony community believe all adulterers should receive capital punishment. Boudreau points out the fact that all crimes have unique characteristics and should not receive a generalized punishment. The community thinks the justice system should kill Hester, but they do not see the unique characteristic of the crime, Pearl. The community does not consider someone will need to raise Pearl if Hester receives a death

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