SCARLET LETTER Chapter 2 -- The Marketplace

7. List some “crimes” and punishments possible in Puritan society during this time.

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Crimes in Putitan society included laziness, misbehavior (whippings), drunkeness (scourged), vagrance. drunkeness (whipped), witchcraft (hung).

But, in that early severity of the Puritan character, an inference of this kind could not so indubitably be drawn. It might be that a sluggish bond-servant, or an undutiful child, whom his parents had given over to the civil authority, was to be corrected at the whipping-post. It might be that an Antinomian, a Quaker, or other heterodox religionist, was to be scourged out of the town, or an idle or vagrant Indian, whom the white man's firewater had made riotous about the streets, was to be driven with stripes into the shadow of the forest. It might be, too, that a witch, like old Mistress Hibbens, the bitter-tempered widow of the magistrate, was to die upon the gallows.


The Scarlet Letter