"The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
The extract from "The Scarlet Letter" gives a good view of what life in Salem was like and the way people act towards people's personal issues. The language used in the extract keeps the reader in captured in the wait for the confession from the Reverend to take place. The morals and ways of life in Salem were quite different from now, and because of this, the extract has a huge impact on the reader. To see the difference in life is quite extraordinary, where the sins of a person is a very public issue, and very important, whereas, now issues are mostly kept in private.
The treatment of sinners in this period of time was very poor. For example, Hester had committed adultery, and not just being punished by the law, she had to wear "a scarlet letter" to make sure the whole community knew her offence. People did not take kindly to offences like this. People felt that her sentence was too lenient. They punish her by making both Hester and Pearl social outcasts. They avoided interaction with either of them and also gave suspicious looks and threw insulting comments in their direction. Life in the era of purity would have been extremely difficult; people who sinned where treated very badly, like Hester for her behaviour in the chapter is waiting on "scaffolding" waiting to be hanged along with Pearl. Hester's act is seen so evil that even pearl of the offspring of the offence is seen as "elvish" and "with-like". .
Salem's society gets represented as a pure society, and that any sin or wrong committed is punished to an awful extent. You can also see that God is a great importance to Salem's community. The Reverend is very important to the people; he is "their minister whom they so loved", showing the importance to God in this society. The town is also a civilized, rule-bound space where everything one does is on display and where transgressions are quickly punished, Hester is an example if this, and had the "scarlet letter on her bosom".