The Scarlet Letter - Punishment

Punishment Quote
"Only the man who has enough good in him to feel the justice of the penalty can be punished; the other can only be hurt." This is a very interesting quote, and depending what you make of it, it can be very confusing. To most people this quote might not mean anything, but you
must read it and try to understand it. Though this quote can relate to a persons personality, it also might not relate to a person at all. All people are different and think differently than others. Almost everybody in the world has a different understanding of what is wrong and what is right,
and also of what should be punished and what should not be punished.
The quote "Only the man who has enough good in him to feel the justice of the penalty can be punished; the others can only be hurt," may have many meanings to many different people. To me this quote means that if a person does not know or does not believe that what they have done to be punished is bad, then the punishment will mean nothing to them. If the person thinks that they did nothing wrong, and thinks there is no reason for them to be punished, then the punishment will mean nothing to them. The person will gain nothing, they will gain no knowledge from their act or their punishment. There are a lot of reasons why people do not understand the concept of punishment in the world. People think very differently from others, therefore, people will have different beliefs of what is right and what is wrong. A person might consider one thing to be a wrong action and the need to be punished, while another person thinks the opposite. They might think it is not wrong and there is no need for punishment. If actions are not dealt with correctly, punishment will be of no use. People will become out of control and there will be nothing but chaos in the world we live in.
This quote relates to the book, The Scarlet Letter, as well as all of its characters quite a bit. In fact the whole book, from what I have read, is mainly about punishment, while this quote is also about punishment. The main character of The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, must deal with a major punishment for her actions. Hester Prynne realizes that what she did was wrong and she accepted the punishment willingly, she even made and sewed the "A" herself. She will learn from her mistake and will also grow, mentally, as a person. The quote talks about people being able to be punished, only if they realize what they have done is wrong, and Hester Prynne realizes this. Even though the people of the town hate and can not stand Hester, she still has the courage to accept her wrong action, her mistake, in front of the whole town.
I would have to say that the quote that I am talking about does not relate with my personality. I have done things that people may consider bad or wrong, that I myself do not think is wrong. The punishments for these actions actually affected me and the way I feel. I understood that they were punishments, I just could not understand why I was being punished for acts that I did not think were wrong. From my not understanding my punishment, I was unable to learn from it. Punishment is suppose to be an action taken to correct someone?s bad action. People must not be punished for acts that are not wrong or for something the person had nothing to do with. If people are wrongfully punished, it will just confuse peoples understanding of punishment even more. Somebody must understand what their punishment is for. If people are punished for nothing, people will turn to evil, thinking they will be punished for doing what is right.
"Only the man who has enough good in him to feel the justice of the penalty can be punished; the others can only be hurt," can be very helpful when dealing with the understanding of punishment. You must be able to read this quote and understand the whole meaning to it. This