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Forum of Hidden Truth Dictated and governed by a set of religious laws Puritan society restricted those who lived within its limits to mundane ordinary lives The theocratic based community was forced to live under the harsh and often strict guidelines of the Puritan church Any one sin could be punished severely whether it is a minor infraction or an offense condemnable by death A person could not speak out or show any emotion lest they were willing to face the consequences of their seemingly legitimate actions- creating a society where outward and inner truth could not and therefore did not exist These brutal living conditions enforced by the Puritan community are depicted in the nineteenth century novel The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne uses a myriad of motifs to provide an insightful look into the harsh society The scaffold the most prominent motif in the novel reflects the characters innermost thoughts and feelings to their fellow townspeople and proves to be the only place in the Boston community in which unbridled- and often brutal- honesty can be found Hawthorne uses the scaffold as a tool through which he demonstrates the public revelation of ones sins Public penitence upon the scaffold was the only way society would acknowledge and later forgive one for their sins It is the first step on the long road to acceptance back into the strict Puritan society In the first of three scaffold scenes Hester stands before the community wearing a scarlet A For her punishment she was required to stand for hours upon the scaffold and the truth pertaining to her sin of adultery and her inner struggle were put on display for haughty as her demeanor was she perchance underwent an agony from every footstep of those that thronged to see her as if her heart had been flung into the street for them all to spurn and trample upon 52 Already carrying the heavy burden of her guilt Hester
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