What is ironic about Hawthorne's portrayal of the Puritan society, in terms of this developing theme in the Scarlet Letter?
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Hawthorne portrays the Puritans as thinking they had a perfect society. However, as he points out in the first chapter, one of the first things they needed to built in their so-called utopia is a prison for people who broke their laws. During the course of the novel, the society also includes a witch who just happens to be the sister of the governor, an adulteress, a minister who is an adulterer, a town doctor bent on revenge and a child borne out of wedlock. Thus, one of the developing themes is that no person is capable of perfection and therefore we should "be true, be true" and show our real selves to society, not hide behind a religious facade that is not realistic for anyone to achieve.
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