WEEK FIVE ACTIVITIES (Post Due: Saturday, Sept. 26)

Video Lecture (WATCH FIRST)

Read (For This Week): 1) Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (1850)

                Chapters 1-5 (pages 51-90)

           2) “We Clerked for Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Nothing Stopped Her From

Speaking Up”

View (By NEXT WEEK):  1) The Scarlet Letter (Film 1995)  [On Amazon Prime] SIGN UP FOR A STUDENT VERSION OF AMAZON PRIOME FOR 1/2 PRICE FILMS!!!!

Here is the trailer:

AND/OR

2) The Notorious RBG (A Documentary on the Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg)

Here is the Trailer:

Post:  Respond to a passage from one of the first 5 chapters of The Scarlet Letter.  For the following week’s assignment, respond to a scene from either the film (The Scarlet Letter) or (RBG). 

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

34 Comments

  1. Jingquan Feng

    After I finished chapters 1 to 5 of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, I had mixed feelings about this story. At the beginning of the story, we have a woman named “Hester Prynne” who convicted of adultery was standing in front of the scaffold on the market place. Hester dressed beautifully; she held her baby on her hand, and there was a red-letter “A.” embroidered on the chest. People in the market place are speaking loudly to humiliate her. But, she didn’t show any emotion about those bad words. In order to remove the “A” from her chest, she had to tell everyone who is the baby’s father. Then Hester saw a man in the crowd that she knew, and the man also knew her as well.
    However, the man put his finger on his mouth to tell her to say nothing about him. After that, a priest named “John Willson.” came out and demanded her to speak the name of the baby’s father. Hester refused to say a word. Then the old priest let a young priest named “Dimmesdale” to talk with her, but she remains silent. After the trial, Hester back to prison, and she had to see a doctor named “Roger Chillingworth.” However, this doctor was not a stranger; he was the man in the market place. When Hester saw him, she was stunned because that man was her husband. The first thing he did was to give a diagnosis to Hester’s baby and Hester herself. Then he questions her about who was the baby’s father, but Hester still kept her mouth shut. But Chillingworth didn’t give up on finding the adulterer. After Hester finished her sentence, she moved to a little cabin that far away from the city. She used her needle skill to earn money for her living, and she was very good at it. Most of the time, Hester helps needy people more than others. As a result, she built up a good reputation in the town. However, she still can not remove her “A.” The chapters one to five didn’t show more detail about Hester’s secret. Then I watched the film. I found out that the young priest “Dimmesdale” is the baby father and dies at the end of the film. I said I had mixed feelings about this story because I can not judge what Hester did. First, she was cheating on her husband, and I’m afraid that’s not right in common senesce. But I can imagine it is tough to raise a child in a place that nobody knows you. Second, she is not a bad woman because she confessed to her husband, and she felt sorry for him. Third, she helps poor people; even she is also not a wealthy person. Fourth, she cares about her child. Therefore, I had mixed feelings about the story. About the letter “A.” I think it has multiple meanings in the story. At the beginning of the story, the letter “A” represents “adultery” because she was cheating on her husband. In the middle of the story, the letter “A” means “able” because she can do everything for the people and her baby. In the end, the “A” becomes “Angel” because she washed her sin by helping poor people and people changed the impression of her.

    • Mark

      Great overview Jingquan. I like your interpretation of the possible readings of the letter “A.”

      I look forward to your thoughts on the film and article on RBG.

  2. Manija Shouff

    Hi Professor,
    Question on this weeks post.
    Post will be on Scarlett letter for the chapters 1 -5?
    Video/movie also needs to be posted this week? Or just the reading for now?
    Thank you

    • Manija Shouff

      After reading chapters 1 -5 of Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I can tell that the women in the neighborhood despise her and wish her death, especially one of the ugliest ones “This woman has brought shame on upon us all, and ought to die.” Others just stare at her, since it was back in the 17th century, this kind of action was acceptable. As per Hester, she would be out of the prison everyday with her baby and standing in the town square for 3 hours a day for everyone to look at, with the “letter A in scarlet” on top of her dress. One would think she would be embarrassed and ashamed wearing it, but she is not. The part that has gotten me a little confused is throughout the story people say her husband drowned in the sea meanwhile the man that appears in the village Roger Chillingworth is the husband that left Hester. He pretends to be a doctor so he can see Hester and ask her the same question that everyone else is asking “Who is the father?”. Story seems interesting but the language that it is written in is a little hard to understand.

      • Mark

        Hi Manija,

        Very good post on the ostracism and general nastiness of Hester by other women. Does such treatment continue today?

        I think watching the modern film version will help answer some of your other questions. Roger Chillingsworth is the returned husband of Hester BUT NOT the father or her baby!

        • Manija Shouff

          Hello Professor,

          Unfortunately, the same treatments do exist today and it’s by both genders.

    • Mark

      Hi Manija,
      Please post a response to the films for next week.
      Thank you.

  3. Dkaran

    After reading chapters 1-5 of Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I feel the letter investigates guilt and revenge throughout the chapters. In Chapter 2: The Market-Place, we were introduced to a young woman holding an infant coming from the prison where she has to be publicly punished. The woman in the crowd makes harsh comments about Hester for wearing the embroidered badge on her chest which was a letter “A” that was stitched in gold and scarlet. From the women’s conversation as Hester walks by we could assume that she has committed some act of adultery and has given birth to an illegitimate child (a child who is born to parents who are not married to each other). So, the letter “A” that was stitched on her dress stands for “Adulterer”. In the 1800s they were very strict about particular things like no sleeping around or having kids until you were married.

    • Mark

      Good detective work Karan. The modern film version will help clear up additional questions and will clarify the very strict guidelines of our Puritan heritage (do some of these rules apply today???)

  4. Lisbeth Rivas

    I already read The scarlet Letter back when I was a junior in high school, but I vaguely remember what occurred in the book. Rereading the first five chapters brought up so many emotions. At the beginning of the book, Hawthorne describes the setting and what type of people are in this society. In chapter one, we learn that the puritan society is referred to as a city upon a hill “a place where the eyes of all people are upon us.” Hinting that there are eyes and ears everywhere. People will talk. People will judge. A young woman named Hester Prynne is assumed guilty of adultery and must wear a scarlet A on her dress as a punishment. She faces public humiliation by standing on a scaffold for three hours. The women are all jealous of Hester’s beauty and her ability to act poise in this situation. They start ordering for Hester to name the father of her child. But instead, she held her head up high and refused to name anyone. I think they’re treating Hester in such a cruel manner simply because she is a woman. If a man were to have done the same, I do not think he would’ve been treated as harsh or have had to face public humiliation but instead praised for his behavior. Women had to be submissive and obey everything a man asked her to do during this time. Amongst the crowd surrounding the scaffold, she noticed a scruffed up man who seems to know her. This man is Hester’s husband. He had sent her to America, giving her the hope that he would follow her. Since Hester refused to name the father of her child, she goes back to prison. Hester and her husband come face to face, who goes by the name Roger Chillingworth. He does not want Hester to reveal his true identity and claims he is a doctor as a way to see Hester. Chillingworth makes it clear that if she refuses to tell who is the unknown lover is, he will find out one way or another and seek revenge. After a couple of month’s Hester is released from prison. Although she can move away from Boston, she chooses not to do so. Instead, she moves to a cabin at the edge of town. What is most remarkable about Hester Prynne is her strength of character. Despite facing public humiliation and isolation among the puritan society, her inner strength is what keeps her going. She remained compassionate and honest. Although she had completed her sentence, she remained an outcast. Hester wears an embroidered letter A on her dress as a punishment but instead of it representing something shameful she, wears it as something beautiful. Hester feels lonely and is in constant reminder of her “sin.” She dedicates her time to helping those in need.

    • Mark

      This is a very rich and subtle reading of this text Lisbeth. Keep an eye on these important points as we read additional chapters and connect the text to the film version and RBG.
      You have the outline of a fine first essay by the way.

  5. Marjan Ahmed

    In this modern world, everyone is busy with their own personal life and work. Time is the most valuable thing to people but back in the day it was different. After reading the scarlet letter, one thing is pretty clear to me that people had lots of free time to worry about what other people do. The story is about Hester Prynne who had slept with a man without getting married and had a child. The society acts like its huge crime. I mean one of the main reasons the Colonial Americans came to the new land was Freedom, then where Hester’s freedom, why couldn’t she lead her life her way? Considering the time, I can understand it was not the best idea to have kids without marriage but instead of making the man to marry her, who is responsible for it, they decide to put a letter of shame on her. According to the letter, when she is stood before the crowd, “she took the baby on her arm, and, with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her towns-people and neighbors.” I wonder what she was thinking, probably that people have so much time poking into someone else matter. After watching the movie, I can see that Hester was alone in the new world. She was helped by Arthur Dimmesdale in many and it was normal them to grow feeling for each other. Yes, they did wrong by not marrying before honeymoon, but this matter could be solved by getting them married. But it was the time where there was huge gender inequality. Arthur Dimmesdale was not sinful for sleeping with a lady before marriage, but Hester Prynne was due to lack of gender equality in that time.

    • Mark

      I had to laugh when you wrote: “one thing is pretty clear to me that people had lots of free time to worry about what other people do.” How true, but has society really changed that much? Does society overly enforce its views on individuals today?

      Your point on gender inequality during Puritan times is also excellent. Consider watching the RBG documentary for next week and bringing out this same theme for society today. This would make an excellent first essay, by the way.

  6. Brianna Lesperences

    After reading the first 5 chapters of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I felt confused and annoyed to say the least. In The Scarlet Letter a woman named Hester Prynne is continuously humiliated due to being convicted of adultery. So because of her adultery the letter “A” was embroidered on her chest. Still, throughout the constant embarrassment and shame from others, Hester remained poised. The only way that the letter “A” would be removed is if she confessed to whose her child’s father. For some reason Hester refuses to state his identity. Throughout the novel all of the punishments seems to be aimed at Hester, but “Roger ChillingWorth” Hester long lost husband wanted the father of the child to also gain some sort of punishment because he was just as involved. So Roger made it his duty to find out who exactly this man was. Because of her adultery Hester was sent to prison, after serving her sentence she moved away from the city, started a new job and helped with the poor. As stated in the beginning I was confused and annoyed because I couldn’t understand why Hester couldn’t just state who the father was. The minister obviously didn’t care about her nor the punishment that she was receiving so why should she feel the need to hide for him.

    • Mark

      Brianna,
      Thanks for this interesting post. Hester clearly is conflicted about naming the father and the injustice of her humiliation. This novel speaks to the pressures of internal will and external forces, that continue today. You’ll see as you read on (and watch the modern film version), that there’s a good reason for not naming the father. Perhaps it’s to protect him, or perhaps she’s leaving the decision with him (for his own growth).

  7. Afshan S (Lil B)

    The Scarlet Letter
    The book takes place around the time of the first colonies in Boston where Puritans have set up their towns and have made adultery, among other things, illegal/a sin, and require women to confess in public who they had slept with, or they’ll have to wear a large scarlet “A” on their clothing and go to prison. This would seem completely barbaric to us now, among other things from around that time. The fact that the women in the story seem to despise her because of that is troubling, but despite all the judgement around her, Hester doesn’t seem to be too bothered about it.
    Hawthorne writes in the first chapter, “A portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery and another portion as the site of a prison.” It’s a little disturbing that the Puritans made it a priority to have both of these early on in their structuring of society, especially the prison. It’s not surprising that America continued the tradition of having prison be a very present part of our society, as we have the most prisoners in the world.

    Notorious RBG
    I’m grateful that Professor Noonan assigned this documentary because I think it helps paint a bigger picture into the life of someone who devoted their life to public service, and it also helps us understand the type of person that we’ve lost on the supreme court. Even if she had not become a supreme court justice, her life was very much worth learning about. It’s still hard for me to imagine the landscape in which women weren’t allowed to be lawyers a little over 60 years ago, let alone be able to have their own credit cards, which is one of the many things that RBG has worked on towards equality. Not only did it seem beyond difficult for her as a woman, but she was also married and had a two-year-old child and attending law school at the same time. She even had to take care of her husband, and was able to get notes for him and help him pass even though he was a year above her, making her work twice as much. Even after graduating and getting into the law review, she was unable to get a job because she said that other law firms in New York didn’t want someone who was: a woman, a Jew, and a pregnant mother. I’m glad that things have changed since then, but it’s sad that her work could potentially be undone in the next coming years.
    It was really nice to know that her husband and her made a great couple, with RBG being very straightforward, stern, and possibly a little dry with her sense of humor, while her husband was a very outgoing, loud, and funny guy. On top of being a great couple, it’s heartwarming to see how much her husband pushed for her to get on the bench of the supreme court, she very much deserved to be there given the amount of work and difficulty she went through just to help other people. It’s very hard to find people as devoted as she was, and her absence will be sorely missed.

    • Mark

      This is a fantastic post Afshan. I do wonder, however, about your point that the treatment of Hester “would seem completely barbaric to us now.” Are we really that civilized and just in the treatment of citizens today? Your comments on the RBG film are very insightful, which I’ll share with the class for next week.

  8. Najeh Marcus

    Reading “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne was very interesting to the say the least. Even the title makes sense since the main character Hester Prynne is force to wear to where a scarlet colored letter A on her chest. Learning that Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote this in 1850 helps me know that this writing is based off those the societal norms of that that time. From what I can see from the chapters I read Hester Prynne had committed adultery with an unknown man and gave birth to his child. It seems she has a husband and they both lived in Amsterdam. The story takes place in Massachusetts. Her husband was still in Amsterdam when she cheated on him. I’m not if Hester was part of the Puritans, but her actions seemed to anger them. Chapters 2 and 3 show us what is actually happening to Hester. She seems to be getting publicly shamed by members of the church and others. Chapter 4 is where it really got interesting for me because it’s revealed that the man, she recognized in the crowd was her husband. His name is Roger Chillingworth. From what I can tell from the text he wants revenge on the man Hester slept with. But now i’m left wondering who his child’s father. From what i can gather if she wanted the shaming to stop she most likely would had told . So most likely she’s doing it to protect the father.

    • Mark

      Najeh,

      Excellent pick-ups, which will become clearer as you read on and watch the modern film version. One note of clarification: though the film was written in 1850, it is set during the time of the Puritan/Pilrims (1630s) in America. The novel is in fact part of a renewed interest in American history and revival of intellectual thought in the 1850s, which we will talk more about soon. Excellent post.

  9. Richard Li

    After reading “The Scarlet Letter” chapters 1 to 5, Hester being claimed as an adulterer is somewhat in a way like abortion today. That is a huge problem that every man is capable of being left off the hook easily, while on the other hand, women are condemned for it just like in the book. Everyone treated the woman as if she did not exist. Hester had no power even if she revealed who the real father was. Women in general have no power, unlike men, who have tremendous power over women. I think that gender equality is still a huge problem today, especially in the first five chapters of the book. Hester was shushed to not say a word about the husband, even though she could have, but did not either way. Even trying to get a job was hard for Hester as she was a “woman”.

    • Daniela Martinez

      In response to the “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I think religion was a double-edged weapon. The Puritans were a religious colony that put a lot of effort into becoming a Utopian city. However, their rules and religion made them evolve into something that would contradict their reason for fleeing England. They scaped because they felt attacked by other Christians and the rest of England. As in the following quote in chapter 2 which stated that “there was very much the same solemnity of demeanor on the part of the spectators; as befitted a people amongst whom religion and law were almost identical, and in whose character both were so thoroughly interfused, that the mildest and the severest acts of public discipline were alike made venerable and awful.” No one could be against because they would have become the next to be pointed out. It was part of their set of rules and part of their religion. If someone were against in one of those, they would have face punishment for equally both of them.

      On the other hand, I noticed that most men had a lot of power and influence in the colony. The “solemn presence of men no less dignified than the Governor, and several of his counsellors, a judge, a general, and the ministers of the town,” had full control over everyone’s lives and beliefs that it was suffocating. Besides that, imagining how Hester Prynne must have felt from being judged in front of the people by men of high charges would have been terrifying. I thought it was brave enough of her to stand and face up in front of all those people. Even though shame was not all that she felt at that moment, she held herself from telling the truth and protect her loved ones.

      Reading the “The Scarlet Letter” again was a pleasure for me as it was my first time reading a high-level novel.

      • Daniela Martinez

        Sorry, I reply in your comment by accident without double-checking.

    • Mark

      Richard,

      Your modern day analogy to “abortion” is right on!!! Keep this topic in view as you watch the RBG documentary. We are currently about to pick a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the Supreme Court, which may just mean the legal end to women’s right to get an abortion. Consider following the confirmation process in the news, and making this the focus of your first essay.

  10. Dan

    In response to the “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, one could argue that there is a correlation between modern day politics, and the treatment of those sentenced to wear the scarlet letter, or sentenced to death for witchcraft. The Puritans were so focused on one view-point (being their religious ideals), today we see similar actions by people involved in certain political movements where any outside proposition from that party’s view-point, can lead to a person being ostracized. It is this action of group indifference towards an individual that leads to escalation of hostilities, at which point, reasonable compromises are highly unlikely. As we saw in the movie, “The Scarlet Letter” this escalation lead to violence, which we are seeing as well today with individual acts of racism, and riots.
    Hawthorne wrote, “Lonely as was Hester’s situation…” because of her lack of company due to her getting labeled by the community that she was a sinner. When in truth, the real sinners were the other members of the commonwealth. Hester’s only sin was loving a man outside of wedlock, were as the other members let a woman give birth in a prison cell, risking Hester’s and her baby’s health. What monsters they were. It is this loneliness that drives the ostracized to seek new communities to be a part of, which is not what Hester did, but most people would have fled the situation.
    The final point of this response is that when people are driven out groups for having different ideas, these individuals will most likely form an organization of their own which opposes the original factions’ philosophy that they were once a part of.

    • Mark

      Dan, Excellent points throughout. I really like your concluding points (and quote) that ask “who are the real monsters in society”!

      Keep an eye on the confirmation process for the Supreme Court Justice as we’ll see a working out of intolerance from from both sides of the political aisle.

      Consider posting on the documentary RBG for next week.

  11. Jannatul Fateha

    The Scarlet Letter:

    While I was reading chapters 1 -5 of Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, It was a bit hard for me to understand. The novel amounts to a spirited, pre-feminist defense of women and women’s rights. In the second chapter The Market Place, a new character
    “Hester Prynne” is introduced walking out of the prison onto a platform in front of the whole town to be ridiculed by them for her sin. She was forced to be integrated by the high officials of the town while holding her little Pearl in arms. Making matters worse, the father of the child was in that very group of officials. She was then sentenced to wear the scarlet letter “A”, showing her guilt “externally”. Unable to take it off, she was forced to show her guilt to the entire settlement. She stands holding an infant to her breast where a beautifully sewn scarlet letter “A” is. We can infer from this that the “A” symbolizes adultery in which she has committed, bearing the child in her arms. The crowd has a reaction to her standing on the platform that shows how much sin is unfavorable in their society. The narrator tells us of Hester’s past and how she moved to Boston from England two years earlier. She left her deformed husband Roger Chillingworth to America to await his arrival. The narrator also talks of Hester’s beauty, “The young woman was tall, with a figure of perfect elegance on a large scale.” This brings up another theme to the rose bush symbolizing that beauty on the outside can still hurt you. A rose is beautiful but holds many thorns that will prickle you if held wrong. Hester looks into the crowd and lets reality sink in that she is going to have to live the rest of her life scorned by others, but I like the way she takes about it. She shares a mindset I have, that it doesn’t matter what others think as long as you have self-acceptance which we both do.

    • Mark

      Jannatul,
      Thanks for this careful reading of the text and your great point that the novel: “amounts to a spirited, pre-feminist defense of women and women’s rights.”

      I’d love to hear your thoughts on the RBG documentary for next week, which focuses on this same topic.

  12. Daniela Martinez

    In response to the “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I think religion was a double-edged weapon. The Puritans were a religious colony that put a lot of effort into becoming a Utopian city. However, their rules and religion made them evolve into something that would contradict their reason for fleeing England. They scaped because they felt attacked by other Christians and the rest of England. As in the following quote in chapter 2 which stated that “there was very much the same solemnity of demeanor on the part of the spectators; as befitted a people amongst whom religion and law were almost identical, and in whose character both were so thoroughly interfused, that the mildest and the severest acts of public discipline were alike made venerable and awful.” No one could be against because they would have become the next to be pointed out. It was part of their set of rules and part of their religion. If someone were against in one of those, they would have face punishment for equally both of them.

    On the other hand, I noticed that most men had a lot of power and influence in the colony. The “solemn presence of men no less dignified than the Governor, and several of his counsellors, a judge, a general, and the ministers of the town,” had full control over everyone’s lives and beliefs that it was suffocating. Besides that, imagining how Hester Prynne must have felt from being judged in front of the people by men of high charges would have been terrifying. I thought it was brave enough of her to stand and face up in front of all those people. Even though shame was not all that she felt at that moment, she held herself from telling the truth and protect her loved ones.

    Reading the “The Scarlet Letter” again was a pleasure for me as it was my first time reading a high-level novel.

    • Mark

      Daneila,
      Your point that for Puritans “religion was a double-edged weapon” is a great one. Your post is clearly written and insightful. Consider continuing with this topic as you watch the film version of the novel and the RBG Documentary.

  13. Jawad Awada

    After reading chapters 1 through 5 of the Scarlet Letter it makes you realize how different life was compared to today. To me it seemed as if people back then had much more time to worry about certain situations, and those are the same situations that we don’t even give any attention to nowadays. The main character of this story is a lady by the name of Hester Prynne. Times were different back then, so overall Hester decided to sleep with a guy that she was not married to and that action/decision by her caused her to receive a lot of backlash for what she did. Everyone that found out about what had happened was not pleased and made it into a much larger problem than it really was. Again back in those times people lived very different and were much more closed minded compared to how people live today. Hester ended having a child so that did not make her situation any better. Something that seemed confusing to me was that there was a letter “A” placed on her chest I believe (did not understand why they did that) and the only way it would be removed was if she confessed who the father of her child was. To me it did not seem fair at all that the father of the child did not receive nearly as much backlash as Hester did. Overall Hester ended up going to prison but once she was released she left to a different city and started a whole new life. As embarrassed as she might have felt it is very understandable as to why she would want to start a whole new life.

    • Mark

      Excellent discussion Jawad. The letter A is placed on Hester Prynne’s chest to make a public example of her (humiliate her in public really). She will have to wear this badge of dishonor every day in public until she confesses. Watch the film version to see how she handles this and how the villagers, in turn, respond.

      The larger question is how Society still punishes its wayward citizens (those who don’t stick with the plan! who for example is considered Un-American today?)

  14. Lionel Desroses

    sorry for the late response

    The scarlet letter is a letter placed on the women’s bosom as a sign that this woman has committed adultery. This letter is known to be one of the most shameful letters that could be put on women because they have to wear it everywhere they go to sign that this woman is an adulteress. The Scarlet letter is a big letter A that sows on the women’s bosom. Back in the 1700s, based on the Christian view, adultery was one of the most unforgivable and shameful crimes a woman could have committed because back then, everything is run the base on the Christian laws. This is where the scarlet letter comes in when a beautiful young lady named Hester Prynne’s had an affair with a man and ended up getting pregnant by that man. Even she had tried to hide the matter, but the pregnancy would give it away. This act was such a shameful act in the 1700s that they sent her to jail before pining the Scarlet letter on her. After reading the first few pages of the scarlet letter, I realize that back in the 1700s. The law was pretty much harsh on women mostly because now a day a woman could cheat and have another baby on a man that would not seem to be as much as in issue as they had made it appear in the 1700s. Still, as time develops, the law on some stuff has been cut off or reduced to a level of understanding. The scarlet’s story has taken place in Boston, where miss Hester has lost her respect as a woman in the village because she was having an affair with a man and bared a child for that man, which caused her to be imprisoned because of that. According to Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Make a path, and I promise you that Mistress Prynne will be placed where man, woman, and child will have a good view of her fine garments from now until one o’clock.” This quote shows us how miss Pryme was drag all over town so people could recognize her as an adulteress and be humiliated all over town.
    Furthermore, Nathaniel stated that “But the point which drew all eyes, and, as it were, transfigured the wearer,—so that both men and women, who had been familiarly acquainted with Hester Prynne, were now impressed as if they beheld her for the first time,—was that Scarlet Letter, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom… the baby in her arms and the shameful letter on her breast.” This shows that when she was being dragged across the town, everybody would fix the eyes on the scarlet letter instead of anything else and everyone who knew her was a shock as if they were seeing her for the first time because they prospection had changed. After all, now she had the scarlet letter sow on her. With her going through all these because she has committed adultery, show how harsh the law was on women. But also leave so much question on the man because it is not like it take one to commit adultery so if she’s going through all, left me wondering what will they do to the man, or would they even do something to him also or not?

  15. Lionel Desroses

    sorry for the late response

    The scarlet letter is a letter placed on the women’s bosom as a sign that this woman has committed adultery. This letter is known to be one of the most shameful letters that could be put on women because they have to wear it everywhere they go to sign that this woman is an adulteress. The Scarlet letter is a big letter A that sows on the women’s bosom. Back in the 1700s, based on the Christian view, adultery was one of the most unforgivable and shameful crimes a woman could have committed because back then, everything is run the base on the Christian laws. This is where the scarlet letter comes in when a beautiful young lady named Hester Prynne’s had an affair with a man and ended up getting pregnant by that man. Even she had tried to hide the matter, but the pregnancy would give it away. This act was such a shameful act in the 1700s that they sent her to jail before pining the Scarlet letter on her. After reading the first few pages of the scarlet letter, I realize that back in the 1700s. The law was pretty much harsh on women mostly because now a day a woman could cheat and have another baby on a man that would not seem to be as much as in issue as they had made it appear in the 1700s. Still, as time develops, the law on some stuff has been cut off or reduced to a level of understanding. The scarlet’s story has taken place in Boston, where miss Hester has lost her respect as a woman in the village because she was having an affair with a man and bared a child for that man, which caused her to be imprisoned because of that. According to Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Make a path, and I promise you that Mistress Prynne will be placed where man, woman, and child will have a good view of her fine garments from now until one o’clock.” This quote shows us how miss Pryme was drag all over town so people could recognize her as an adulteress and be humiliated all over town.
    Furthermore, Nathaniel stated that “But the point which drew all eyes, and, as it were, transfigured the wearer,—so that both men and women, who had been familiarly acquainted with Hester Prynne, were now impressed as if they beheld her for the first time,—was that Scarlet Letter, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom… the baby in her arms and the shameful letter on her breast.” This shows that when she was being dragged across the town, everybody would fix the eyes on the scarlet letter instead of anything else and everyone who knew her was a shock as if they were seeing her for the first time because they prospection had changed. After all, now she had the scarlet letter sow on her. With her going through all these because she has committed adultery, show how harsh the law was on women. But also leave so much question on the man because it is not like it take one to commit adultery so if she’s going through all, left me wondering what will they do to the man, or would they even do something to him also or not?

  16. chris castellon

    After reading chapters 1-5 of Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I have learned that she was not liked very much, so much hate was upon her that they wished for her death, for example it states “This women has brought shame on upon us all and ought to die”. The rest of the folks would just stare and would never say a word to her and would just continue on with their day as if it were natural. It seems to me people back then worried for any curtain situation that people nowadays do not pay attention too. For example the reason why Hester Prynne was hated because she slept with a man who she was not married too and because of this action it had a bad impact on civilians. At the end she moved and started a new life which is understandable due to her bad action and the people bullying her for the decision she had made.

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