Why Is Hester Prynne's Puritan Ideology Gone Wrong

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Hester Prynne is the poster child of Puritan ideology gone wrong. Before she was condemned for a crime that in today’s society wouldn’t even be given a second thought, she was was probably a great girl. In fact she was an accomplished seamstress before she was branded with the Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne 86). What the Puritan society did to her was horrible and destroyed her as a person. She was forced to wear a public symbol of shame and was shunned to the outskirts of society. The Puritan society is the true antagonist of this story because they alienated her from their culture and branded her as an adulteress. Throughout the entire book, Hawthorne follows Hester and the other characters in the aftermath of Hester’s punishment. Except, couldn’t this of been avoided if she was never punished at all? The extent of Hester’s punishment ran into the very fabric of the town. Everyone showed up to witness and gossip about Hester, most of it being negative (Hawthorne 49-50). Now imagine none of that happening, imagine the Puritan society and replace it with today’s society. The Puritan society is and was fundamentally flawed. They punished Hester for sleeping with another man when she was under the assumption that her previous husband was dead. She was completely surprised when she…show more content…
The whole story itself seems to be a satire of Puritan society to begin with, as Hawthorne seems to exaggerate the aspects of their society. The Scarlet Letter is a symbol not only of Hester’s crime, but of her fight against Puritan ideals. Later in the story, when she finally rips off her Scarlet Letter, symbolizes a fight that has been won and a rejection of the Puritan ideals that have been weighing her down for so long (Hawthorne 198). A classic conclusion where the protagonist defeats the antagonist and becomes a new person, free from the shackles they

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