The Scarlet Letter

What impressions about the character of the Puritans and their conception of sin, morality, and punishment do you get from each of the following?

a) Description of the Puritan population. b) conversation of the women. c) brief description of the town-beadle. d) description of the scaffold and pillory. e) the appearance and utterances of the Reverand Mr. Wislon and the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale.

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This is rather involved, but I guess I'll get started with the town beadle. The town beadle has numerous responsibilities, namely enforcing the laws of the Puritan society. The beadle was overseer of Hester's imprisonment, he had full charge of her both on the scaffold and in prison, in fact, he is the one who made the judgement that she should be imprisoned while pregnant...... nice guy eh?

None-the-less, the beadle holds all the cards. Had he even once questioned the severity of her punishment, someone may have stepped in to alter it, but he didn't....... thus we see that punishments are not decided upon fairly, and people within the society are often punished more severely than warrants. This goes beyond Puritanical beliefs mind you...... they were a strict people, but there were exceptions.


The Scarlet Letter

That's quite a bit of info. for this forum. Take a look at each of those. The Puritans were into austerity. Sure some of the richer ones wore clothes sewn by Hester but people and places had to look bleak. Women were meant to be submissive and live through a narrow understanding of the Old Testament. Scandal was a self-fulfilling sort of idea. They looked so hard for it so they found it whether it was there or not. The town itself was quite bland and austere. It was not built for comfort. The Jail and the Grave were counterpoints to remind everybody of ever-present sin. Take a look at the GradeSaver site for more. Good luck.

I meant cornerstones not counterpoints. If you recall, the jail was the first structure built. Also it is important to note that the Puritan's needed scandal to validate their constant paranoia. They needs public displays on the scaffold to reinforce the fear which kept their ideology alive.