Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (1-3)

The way the townspeople react to Hester and her baby is frustrating, especially the beadle when he calls for a “blessing on the righteous Colony of Massachusetts, where iniquity is dragged out into the sunshine.” It seemed like the main reason why they punished Hester publicly for adultery was so that they would feel less bad about their sins. They see her as someone who’s sins outweigh their own errors so they don’t need to feel guilty about them. They have the chance to see their own sinfulness in Hester and relate to her but instead they just judge her and use her as an excuse.

via Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (1-3).

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