The Scarlet Letter

Before Hester’s sentence is made public, several women waiting outside the jail claim her punishment would be more severe if it were up to them. Why does Hawthorne include this information so early in the narrative, and what can be inferred about what awa

plis help me out. this is for a close reading cuestions about the scarlet letter

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This sets us up for Puritan justice. The women want to see Hester suffer. Perhaps they are jealous of Hester's past freedom to have an affair. They are also angry that she wears her scarlet letter, meant to shame her, like a badge of honor.