How would you interpret The Scarlet Letter's moral and the characters' roles as an allegory?

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To me, the theme of The Scarlett Letter is more like "The rules and expectations of society often prevent a person from truly being themselves and pursuing their own happiness." Of course, it depends on how people interpet those rules and expectations and how they push them on others. Sometimes societies rules and expectations are used to exploit and manipulate others for selfish gain. This certainly happened in The Scarlett Letter.

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I think you could argue that Hester's story shoud be seen as a cautionary tale about the potential consequences of not conforming to society's expectations.  She didn't and she paid the price.

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