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Word Count: 985
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne expresses the aspects of relationshipsreligion community discipline and punishment in the puritan community of 17th centuryRelationships between men and women were very constrained and that is whatmade adultery such a bad sin in the eyes of everyone in the community Religion seemedto govern over all people would look up to reverends and the community believed thatfate was their destiny Public discipline and punishment were used to discourageeveryone else from committing the same crime or sin as the offending criminal didThe community was to follow the beliefs of god and to do their duties the best theycould yet were there to criticize and punish all who disobeyed the religion or laws In17th century Boston every thing was very strict and everyone was expected to follow thelaws which makes Hesters sin such an excellent example of the beliefs of that timeperiod The first scaffold scene is very important because the scene sums up the beliefs ofthe general public at that time and gives a prospective of what Hester Prynne must dealwith In the beginning of chapter two the scene is described as it could have betokenednothing short of the anticipated execution of some noted culprit47 showing that thewhole town was there for a ruthless public punishment The crowd was not there for anexecution though but there for a public punishment of Hester Prynne who had committedadultery A townsman describes Hesters punishment to a stranger as they have doomedMistress Prynne to stand only a space of three hours on the platform of the pillory andthen thereafter for the remainder of her natural life to wear a mark of shame upon herbosom58 This scene shows the weight of values and morals upon society in the 17thcentury and how public punishment was not only used as punishment but as a way todiscourage others from committing the same crime The community was key in thispunishment because it helped alienate Hester and further her pain The
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