"on monopolized labor"

For Hawthorne, governmental roles, being funded by the public purse and requiring little by the way of independent enterprise, encouraged exactly the kind of moral and physical torpor usually attributed to those reliant on charity. For him, this hypocrisy symbolizes the extent to which his countrymen have fallen from the stern ideals of their Puritan forebears, a company guilty of a hypocrisy of a different kind. It is through this examination of the moral corruptions of past and present — and his tortured identification with both — that Hawthorne creates a dialogue between ‘The Custom-House’ and The Scarlet Letter proper.