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Word Count: 739
The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne contains many profound characters The townspeople intrigue the reader because they gradually evolve throughout the book as would any solitary character In the beginning of the novel they are generally rigid and judgmental towards Hester because she has committed adultery Throughout the novel they slowly allow Hester and her daughter into their community but still look at them with suspicion and doubt Finally in the end of The Scarlet Letter the town forgives her of her sin and she cautiously finds her place in society Hawthorne uses the strict Puritan townspeople as a criterion by which all societies can be measured The townspeople as with any individual character possess a certain depth that develops with knowledge Readers generally characterize the Puritan Townspeople in The Scarlet Letter by their attitudes in the beginning of the novel When Hester first walks into the scene most of the townspeople are very harsh and strict in their religions They believe that adultery is one of the worst sins possible One unyielding woman says This woman has brought shame upon us all and ought to die Is there not law for it Truly there is both in the Scripture and in the statutebook Then let the magistrates who have made it of no effect thank themselves if their own wives and daughters go astray Although a young woman and a righteous man try to intervene with the angry old women their voices are never heard Also Hawthorne associates ugliness with wickedness therefore all of the stingy women are described as being very ugly They regard her not as a fellow sinner but as a woman so evil that she must be ostracized from her perfect community They view the scarlet letter that she wears upon her breast as a symbol of her atrocious crime of adultery and nothing more The women in the beginning of the novel are so quick to pass
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