The Scarlet Letter

what does hawthorne focus upon and criticise in the scarlet letter?

nathanel hawthorne

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The most explicit criticism of The Scarlet Letter is considered by most to be the hypocritical culture of American Puritanism. Throughout the story, the egregious treatment of Hester demands of the reader a heightened sense of sympathy for the "sinner" as the oppressed. Pearl's life in spite of her mother's treatment is also testament to this reality.