150,000+ ESSAYS

Find more results for this search now!

Need a Brand New Custom Essay Now?  click here

Adultery and Punishment in The Scarlet Letter

Adultery and Punishment in The Scarlet Letter

Adultery is a sin never taken lightly. It’s a serious crime that hurts not only the person committing it, but also the people around that person. A crime so serious requires a severe punishment, but that would just lead to more sorrow. In The Scarlet Letter, by Nanthaniel Hawthorne, Hester is the main character who is forced to wear the letter ‘A’ on her chest for committing adultery with an unknown person. At times, the punishment should fit the crime, but under certain circumstances, the crime itself holds all the punishment that is needed.

During the Puritan time period, crimes for adultery ended in execution. In Hester’s case, she was only required to wear the scarlet letter because of the unknown information of who her husband and her lover were. Execution is too severe for a crime such as this, the taking of a life never compensates for a crime that doesn’t physically take a life of another. Wearing the letter ‘A’ on the other hand seems reasonable at first; It subjects the adulterer to public humiliation and criticism. On the surface, this punishment is perceived tame and doesn’t fully grasp the significance of the crime, but if you consider all the non-implied consequences of this type of punishment, you’ll notice that it is too harsh of a punishment for one to take.

Physical pain is nothing compared to how the mind can hurt you. Hester’s mental anguish from being an outcast of her settlement is caused by her punishment. She felt alone and isolated from the world. Is this all this torment worth the price of adultery? It is far too severe for a crime such as adultery. A punishment should only hurt the people that are guilty of the crime, but the punishment also affects Pearl, Hester’s daughter. Pearl was treated like her mother, an outcast from society. Why should an innocent young child have to suffer from her mother’s immoral mistakes?

Temptations occur everyday in our lives. They force us to do certain things that we don’t want to do. A temptation always delivers a positive effect towards one, but in exchange it always has a consequence. Adultery is a crime that has temptation as a foundation. In our society, people believe that there is...

Sign In Now to Read Entire Essay

Not a Member?   Create Your FREE Account »

Comments / Reviews

read full essay >>

Already a Member?   Login Now >

This essay and THOUSANDS of
other essays are FREE at eCheat.

Uploaded by:  


Category:   Scarlet Letter

Length:   4 pages (844 words)

Views:   31014

Report this Essay Save Essay
Professionally written essays on this topic:

Adultery and Punishment in The Scarlet Letter

View more professionally written essays on this topic »