The Scarlet Letter was written Nathaniel Hawthorne, a descendant of one of the judges in the Salem witch trials. He wrote the book as a commentary on Puritan values. While the book points out that the Puritans were willing to shun someone for adultery, Hawthorne also points out the double standard, as the man faces no punishment for adultery.
Hester, instead of being a victim in the story, turns into a strong protagonist as she raises her illegitimate daughter and faces society's stigma. In antebellum America, women had very few rights and were not considered to be key players in society, though they were expected to be chaste. By making Hester the central figure of the book, Hawthorne created a feminist piece of literature that was rare for its time. Hawthorne also criticized the Puritan value system and its double standards. The reverend Dimmesdale is honored by the townspeople, while Hester is outcast, even though both of them were guilty of the sin of infidelity.