An Eye for an Eye?
( The Scarlet Letter Controversial Essay)

" The work of eradicating crimes is not by making punishment familiar, but formidable."
Oliver Goldsmith
Issues that constantly pop up in society are the ones that question the appropriateness of the current forms of punishment found in our community. People often ask, " Isn't he/she getting off too easily?" "Isn't that just a little bit harsh?" or "What kind of legal system is this? " A more specific and correct question that these people should be asking is, " Are our forms of punishment for our "criminals" too mild, fair, or too strict?" My answer to this question would be; Obviously too mild! We need to increase the severity of our forms of discipline. I say this because like Oliver Goldsmith, I feel that the only way to prevent crime is by making the punishment for an individual's actions both respectable and strict. This will allow the citizens of this nation to be aware of the potential consequences of their actions which will also make people think twice prior to breaking the law . How can we possibly be sure that people will stop breaking or never begin to break the law? The solution is the enforcement of harsher laws and penalties. Thus our current system of discipline is insufficient for this changing era. Therefore, we must make certain changes which will make our system both strict and respectable while remaining constitutional.
Forms of punishment are often debated because it is extremely difficult to decide upon the proper punishment for an individual or group who has committed the offense. Both the government and the members of this society are responsible for making these decisions. As a


member of this society, I have decided that our current form of discipline and punishment are inadequate to provide us with reasonable assurance and security. Yes, I am aware that laws and bills are being made in attempt to provide us with safety and our well-being, but due to the constant debate over constitutional rights, the sternness of these new laws are not enough to get through the minds of potential law breakers or multiple offenders. One such law which was in the process of ratification was the "D" for drunk drivers. This new law promoted the "branding" of all people who were convicted of drinking and driving. The law required these individuals to have the letter "D" marked on their driver license along with their license plate. I thought this was an outstanding proposition since it will allow people and police officers to be aware of these potential law breakers so that they are less likely to drink and drive or cause fatal accidents since other drivers will keep a "safe distance" when they are around these people. Unfortunately, our government found this law to be unconstitutional. Yet some characters of The Scarlet Letter thought that the scarlet letter was a worthy punishment: " They have doomed Mistress Prynne to stand only a space of three hours on the platform of the pillory, and then and thereafter, for the remainder of her natural life, to wear a mark of shame upon her bosom" (60); our government feels that the "branding" of these drunk drivers will leave a bad impression for these individuals when applying for jobs, meeting people, and driving around town. I completely disagree with this conclusion! Yes, the "mark of shame" will be a burden to bear but if an individual does not want to bear this symbol, then they should not commit the crime in the first place. What if the idea to drink and drive was simply an uneducated and regretful decision for that day, should the individuals be held accountable for the rest of their lives? Yes, they should be! These offense are not mediocre ones which are as simple as misdemeanors. We are discussing issues which have constantly been stressed throughout our lives: Don't drink and drive! Don't commit adultery! Therefore, all of these individuals should be held accountable for their actions. Therefore, Hester must bear the dreaded letter upon her for the remainder of her natural life.
Some might argue that the punishment which Hester received was far too strict and unjust.


My only possible response is that she brought