In Junein Puritan Boston, Massachusetts, a crowd gathers to witness the punishment of Hester Prynne, a young woman who has given birth to a baby of unknown parentage.
The grass-plot before the jail, in Prison Lane, on a certain summer morning, not less than two centuries ago, was occupied by a pretty large number of the inhabitants of Boston, all with their eyes intently fastened on the iron-clamped oaken door.
Amongst any other population, or at a later period in the history of New England, the grim rigidity that petrified the bearded physiognomies of these good people would have augured some awful business in hand.
It could have betokened nothing short of the anticipated execution of some noted culprit, on whom the sentence of a legal tribunal had but confirmed the verdict of public sentiment. But, in that early severity of the Puritan character, an inference of this kind could not so indubitably be drawn.
It might be that a sluggish bond-servant, or an undutiful child, whom his parents had given over to the civil authority, was to be corrected at the whipping-post. It might be that an Antinomian, a Quaker, or other heterodox religionist, was to be scourged out of the town, or an idle or vagrant Indian, whom the white man's firewater had made riotous about the streets, was to be driven with stripes into the shadow of the forest.
It might be, too, that a witch, like old Mistress Hibbins, the bitter-tempered widow of the magistrate, was to die upon the gallows. In either case, there was very much the same solemnity of demeanour on the part of the spectators, as befitted a people among whom religion and law were almost identical, and in whose character both were so thoroughly interfused, that the mildest and severest acts of public discipline were alike made venerable and awful.
Meagre, indeed, and cold, was the sympathy that a transgressor might look for, from such bystanders, at the scaffold.
On the other hand, a penalty which, in our days, would infer a degree of mocking infamy and ridicule, might then be invested with almost as stern a dignity as the punishment of death itself.
It was a circumstance to be noted on the summer morning when our story begins its course, that the women, of whom there were several in the crowd, appeared to take a peculiar interest in whatever penal infliction might be expected to ensue.
The age had not so much refinement, that any sense of impropriety restrained the wearers of petticoat and farthingale from stepping forth into the public ways, and wedging their not unsubstantial persons, if occasion were, into the throng nearest to the scaffold at an execution.
Morally, as well as materially, there was a coarser fibre in those wives and maidens of old English birth and breeding than in their fair descendants, separated from them by a series of six or seven generations; for, throughout that chain of ancestry, every successive mother had transmitted to her child a fainter bloom, a more delicate and briefer beauty, and a slighter physical frame, if not character of less force and solidity than her own.
The women who were now standing about the prison-door stood within less than half a century of the period when the man-like Elizabeth had been the not altogether unsuitable representative of the sex.
They were her countrywomen: The bright morning sun, therefore, shone on broad shoulders and well-developed busts, and on round and ruddy cheeks, that had ripened in the far-off island, and had hardly yet grown paler or thinner in the atmosphere of New England.
There was, moreover, a boldness and rotundity of speech among these matrons, as most of them seemed to be, that would startle us at the present day, whether in respect to its purport or its volume of tone.
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Text provided by Project Gutenberg. Audio copyrightLoudLit. Flash mp3 player by Jeroen Wijering. Web page presentation by LoudLit.Dec 03, · Consequences And Remedies Of Din In The Scarlet garner The Scarlet letter shows many types of wrong-doing. Some is only ugliness in the puritan eye, some is internally blamed sin and some is sin only defined back in the time effect of pre-Romanticism.
Nathaniel Hawthorne ( – ) He was born in Salem and was a member of one of the oldest Puritan families of New England. He was a direct descendent of William Hawthorne who was renowned for his persecution of the Quakers.
William’s son John was involved in the 17th Century witch-hunts. Aug 15, · The Scarlet Letter envisages this moral and political paradox in terms of individual characters among the first generation colonists: men and women who participate in a hierarchical, authoritarian community that originates in a challenge to the authority and hierarchy of the English church and crown, and a challenge based on the private interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures.
Hester’s scarlet letter is a hardworking symbol. At various times, it symbolizes adultery, sin, hard work, skill, charity, righteousness, sacredness, and, of course, grace. It begins as a punishment, a symbol of her adultery, but Hester accepts her punishment, embroiders the letter beautifully and.
Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter, his famous tale of adultery and alienation, in The novel has become a popular (and sometimes controversial) focus of literary study in American literature. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter portrays his understanding of Puritan doctrines and culture.
He addresses sin and redemption through his primary characters Hester Prynne and the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale, whose adultery has resulted in the birth of Pearl and Hester’s scarlet A.
He demonstrates Hester’s refusal to publically.