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Town Children In The Scarlet Letter Society

Decent Essays
Hawthorne portrays the town children as a reflection of their rigid Puritan society, divulging that children are predestined to obtain the prejudiced beliefs of their societies. Throughout the novel, Puritan society displays a critical attitude towards sin. The Puritan community also believes that when one person has sinned, the entire community is shamed. Thus, Hester is bitterly scorned by the townspeople for her adultery. For instance, as Hester publicly stands on the scaffold, adhering to the strict punishment her society forces upon her, the townspeople’s actions reveal their strict intolerance towards sin. One woman suggests branding Hester upon her forehead for additional punishment, while another states that Hester “has brought shame…show more content…
Also, the town children play at “scourging Quakers” and “taking scalps in a sham­fight with Indians”, further suggesting that the town children abhor those who contrast their society, such as the Quakers, who share a different faith, and the Indians, who share a different culture. Thus, the town children’s beliefs mirror those of their society because they are unaccepting of those who do not conform to Puritan society. As a result of the prejudices they have inherited, the town children have harassed Hester and Pearl in several ways, such as throwing mud at them, calling them names, and excluding Pearl from their activities. The author reveals that as the town children are exposed to the beliefs of their Puritan society, they have obtained these beliefs by displaying contempt towards sinners and those who deviate from Puritan society. Hawthorne distinctly suggests that mankind continually perpetuates intolerance and discrimination as prejudiced beliefs are passed down from one generation to the
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