what does hawthorne focus upon and criticise in the scarlet letter/
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Hawthorne focuses on the hypocrisy and injustice of Puritan society. The irony of Hester, Dimmesdale and Pearl as the focus of division and humiliation underlines the Puritan paranoia and hypocrisy. The three are the most pure characters in the story. Little Pearl, born out of wedlock, is the product of two people truly in love. Hester, in particular, is forced to wear the letter on her breast and exiled to a small hut on the outskirts of the village. Still her embroidery is such that the townspeople still demand it. Hawthorne also examines, through Hester, the nature of resilience and innocent suffering.