Had hester not been a woman, would she have received the same punishment when hester undertakes to protect other women from gender-based persecution, can we interpret her actions as pointing to a larger political statement in the text as a whole. At the end of the novel, the following individuals are up on the scaffold together: a hester, pearl, and dimmesdale b dimmesdale and hester only c chillingworth, dimmesdale, hester, and pearl d hester, pearl, and chillingworth part iii: true/ false: identify if the answer is true or if it is false.
For a modern reader, hester's punishment for adultery, being forced to wear a scarlet letter as a mark of shame upon her breast for life, may seem harsh and unusual but the punishment is extraordinarily lenient in comparison to the biblical and legal punishments that were available at the time. When hester's husband was away for a long time, she committed adultery by sleeping with dimmesdale, the town's minister her punishment is to wear a scarlet letter a on her bosom for the rest of her life she also must stand on a scaffold for 3 hours where the whole town can see her.
Hester should have been punished for her sin, but wearing the scarlet a for the rest of her life was too harsh of a punishment the lifetime sentence to wear the a did not leave any possibility for repentance, forgiveness, or recognition for a lifestyle change.
In the novel the scarlet letter , if hester had not been a woman , would she have received the same punishment. But corporal punishment, or whipping, was the usual punishment in puritan massachusetts for adultery, signaling that the ultimate possible punishment offered by the bible and the law was too harsh hawthorne's ancestor, major john hathorne, was magistrate in salem in 1688, and he ordered a woman named hester craford to be severely whipped in public after she gave birth to an illegitimate child.