In the beginning of The Scarlet Letter, what are some direct quotes that reveal society's view of Hester as a sinner?

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In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, there are a number of quotes that show that the 17th century society thinks of Hester as a sinner.  Hester Prynne makes her first appearance in chapter two, entitled "The Market Place."  In this chapter, Hawthorne draws attention to the townsfolk that...

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In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, there are a number of quotes that show that the 17th century society thinks of Hester as a sinner.  Hester Prynne makes her first appearance in chapter two, entitled "The Market Place."  In this chapter, Hawthorne draws attention to the townsfolk that are waiting outside of the prison, stating that amongst them "religion and law were almost identical," meaning that lawbreakers were essentially considered sinners.  Even before Hester emerges from the prison, a number of townsfolk begin to identify her as sinful.  Many of her harshest critics are older women.  Hawthorne writes of "a hard-featured dame of fifty" who says "[i]t would be greatly for the public behoof, if we women, being of mature age and church-members in good repute, should have the handling of such malefactresses as this Hester Prynne."  A malefactress is defined as a woman who violates the law or does evil.  Further, another mature women suggests that "they should have put a brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne's forehead [...] But she, -the naughty baggage,- little will she care what they put upon the bodice of her gown!"  At this time, another, younger woman interjects, saying "let her cover her mark as she will, the pang of it will be always in her heart."  This discussion of desire to brand Hester also reveals that the townsfolk see her as sinful.  Even the younger woman, who displays some level of empathy to Hester's plight, identifies the severity of the sin, and Hester's inability to ever be free of it.

Perhaps the most harsh judgement comes from a woman whom Hawthorne refers to as "the ugliest as well as the most pitiless of these self-constituted judges," who says,

The woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die.  Is there not law for it?  Truly, there is, both in the Scripture and the statute-book.  Then let the magistrates, who have made it of no effect, thank themselves if their own wives and daughters go astray!"

While opinions differ regarding the degree to which Hester should be punished, Hawthorne makes it clear that to Puritan Boston, Hester is sinful and should be made to suffer.

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