Persecuted In The Scarlet Letter

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Even though America is often referred to as the melting pot, this does not mean that citizens within the United States do not deal with persecution and ostracization. From the early days of the puritans, all the way until the twenty-first century, people have been persecuted for beliefs and or their actions. In the book, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne has committed adultery with the Reverend Dimmesdale, and has been publicly scorned, and made to wear a scarlet letter A. The townspeople mock her, and fear her, staying away from her when they learn of her sin. Unfortunately, much like Hester was persecuted for adultery in The Scarlet Letter, people today are persecuted for their religion, because there are no laws protecting…show more content…
People rarely have the same experiences, and this creates a division among people, since humans don’t completely understand someone different unless they stand in their shoes. In Hester’s village, she is the only one who has committed adultery, so nobody else understands why she did it or what she is going through. Hester is beginning to feel lonely, because much of the town is, according to her punishment, scorning her, and she is shunned for her actions. She thinks she detects people who are companions, but they are, in reality, only looking at her scarlet letter. People tend to stare at those who appear different, and Hester “would detect the eyes of a young maiden glancing at the scarlet letter, shyly and aside, and quickly averted, with a faint, chill crimson in her cheeks (79). This young girl, unknowingly, has ostracized Hester just by staring at her. Hawthorne notes how this woman would quickly look away upon being discovered by Hester. This is because she feels ashamed, and guilty for staring. In different religions, there is sometimes a code for dress. In Islam, a woman is required to show only her hands and face, everything else should be covered up. Males in the same religion wear turbans. In the Jewish faith, a yamaka is worn, and in Christianity, a collared shirt is usually worn. Already, one belonging to any of these faiths is ostracized, because their clothing divides them into…show more content…
Governor Bellingham wishes to remove Pearl to save her, and he fears for her eternal soul. He presumes based on Hester’s past, that Pearl is “equally in the dark as to her soul, its present depravity, and future destiny” (99). Governor Bellingham has never seen Hester in her own home, where she is raising pearl, and has seen her only in town. Since he does not know what is going on behind the closed doors of Hester’s home, he jumps to the conclusion that Pearl is raised wrongly, and fears for Pearl. Much like Bellingham, the most notorious for making such assumptions in religion are the Christians and now, ISIS. Christians have gained the reputation for trying to convert people even if they don’t want to, simply because one is different. If one chooses not to convert, then they are usually regarded with fear. ISIS is much the same way. They are sort of in a mindset that thinks everyone is out to get them, whether or not they actually are. This leads them to try and convert people, because they fear that if one doesn’t convert, they pose a threat. In Islam, the belief of Jihad expresses the spreading of Islam through whatever means necessary. Fear spurs this belief on, as Muslims fear if they do not convert souls, they will be threatened and punished by their god.

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