The Scarlet Letter
Puritan society had a very distinctive view of privacy. Peoples privacy, in our
society, is often exploited by the media and word of mouth. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s
novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynnes’s private life was publicized by an entire town.
Hester becomes an infamous sinner in a town where religion is enforced in your
every-day life. Regardless of sex, any story of adultery that surfaces becomes the
spotlight and the adulterers are ridiculed and stripped of their pride. The Scarlet Letter
focuses on the fact that a woman committed adultery. This goes to show you that a sinful
story involving a woman always interests more than a story that involves a mans
The entire town of Salem, Massachusetts overreacts to Hesters situation. Little do
the towns people know that Hester had not seen her husband in three years and believed
she would never see him again. Humiliating herself, Hester stood at the scaffold and
refused to reveal who the father of Pearl is. The people of Salem will not accept Hesters
private lifestyle so they look at her in a condescending way and make outrageous
assumptions that Hester Prynne is the devil. Feeling degraded, Hester stands her ground
and will not expose Dimmesdale, the true father of Pearl.
Hesters private life becomes the talk of the town in Salem. She is constantly in
the public eye. Hester and Dimmesdale find solace in their secret meetings in the woods,
so attention is not drawn to themselves. The secret of Hester and Dimmesdale’s
relationship must remain a secret or else Dimmesdale’s career and reputation as being a
wholesome reverend in Salem will be destroyed. Despite Dimmesdale’s constant,
desperate suggestions for Hester to tell the truth, she still denies the townspeople of the
Love is a theme that Hawthorne uses in the novel, The Scarlet Letter. Hester truly
is in love with...