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Puritan Punishment In The Scarlett Letter

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In the era of the New World, puritans wanted to “purify” the Church of England. Puritans had various forms of punishments for many things. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, The Scarlet Letter, he sets the tone of his book in the old English Puritan days. Hawthorne describes one of the multiple puritan punishments that took place, he mainly focuses on the punishment for committing adultery. He ties it all together with the puritans’ beliefs, the effects it had on his life, modes of punishment, and crimes related to some in his book.
Puritanism is a powerful political movement in the late 16th and 17th century that strived to “purify” the Church of England and thought they were pursuing God’s work (Gao 176). They believed that sinners could not …show more content…
She betrays her elderly husband, Roger Chillingworth, by loving another Puritan minister- Dimmesdale. Consequently, from these actions that took place Hester gave birth to a baby girl name Pearl, which is evidence of her committing the sin of adultery. Prynne had to be punished for this sin, because to the Puritans it was thought that it would threaten social order and also threaten the bond of marriage (Gao 177). The punishments given to Hester in the book were similar to ones the Puritans would relinquish. During this time, the only decision makers between Hester and the gallows was the head of all power the magistrates. The Magistrates believed that their word was law and nothing could change that (Korobkin 426). One of her punishments was that she was forced to wear a scarlet A upon her bosom for her whole life, in which she beautifully embroidered (Hawthorne 40). She was also forced to stand at the scaffold for three hours with the baby for public shaming (Hawthorne 41). As she stood there the townspeople would humiliate her by spitting at her or laughing. The Puritans believe in Old Testament methods that God’s punishment would be much worse than earthly penalties, so they felt no remorse for giving them (Gao 177). In the story, Hester usually does not say anything to the insults that come from adults and children of the puritan society (Gao 178). Another sinner in the book who took the puritan punishments is Arthur

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