The Scarlet Letter

Explain the meaning

What role does gossip play in developing Hesters character? Why are the characters so judgemental??

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These are Puritans who base their religion on a narrow interpretation of the Bible. They judge each other largely to deflect from their own sins or to make themselves feel better about their own joyless experiences. Hester and Pearl are colorful and full of life. Even Hester, in her state of shame, carries herself with the dignity of one who has experienced true passion. The gossiping women live vicariously through Hester's alleged sin. They pretend to look down on her but, in their secret hearts, envy her. Hester has experienced passion on her own terms and the lively Pearl is an embodiment of Hester's joy.