The Scarlet Letter

What did the women of the town think of Hester Prynne?

Ch. 2: The Market-Place

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The women felt pretty good about themselves considering Hester's downfall. It meant that their own mundane and loveless lives were not that bad. They thought she was an adulterer and a shame. The extended this shame to her illegitimate daughter Pearl.

Several of the women begin to discuss Hester Prynne, and they soon vow that Hester would not have received such a light sentence for her crime if they had been the judges. One woman, the ugliest of the group, goes so far as to advocate death for Hester.