Consequences Of Adultery In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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How often are crimes committed around the world and all the culprit in question gets is a silent slap on the wrist and a stern probation? More often than not the suspect is questioned and later charged. The weight of a punishment is now measured upon the severity of the crime. Adultery nowadays will get someone a divorce and an alimony check. That is not the case for Hester Prynne and the people associated with her adulterous sin. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” Hester Prynne, Roger Chillingworth, and Arthur Dimmesdale all find themselves struggling with their own sins and what the consequences of them are.
First, there is Hawthorne’s presentation of Hester Prynne, a beautiful young woman, who tragically marries a horrid older
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He enters the story a second time as Roger Chillingworth. He finally reaches his wife, only to discover her on a platform with a babe in her arms. He knows that the child could not possibly be his; so he immediately becomes consumed with hatred and resentment. He seeks to find the father of this child and destroy him. His twisting of a righteous anger into a murderous revenge leaves him lost and full of wroth. His greatest sin is to be, revenge, a revenge that he ultimately does not get to achieve. He befriends Arthur Dimmesdale and begins to suspect him of being the father of his adulterous wife’s baby. When he begins to think this he seeks out ways to ask questions that would force Arthur to think about his secret sin. Roger thinks he is vindicated in his actions, but these misconstrued thoughts only serve to make him a more crooked man. He is only redeemed by leaving his estate and money to Pearl after he …show more content…
This mistake could and would cost him his job and his station in the town. But because Hester bears the sin on her own he escapes the town’s ire. He contains his sin and it slowly consumes him. He spends time punishing himself through religious acts of contrition. His view of God is much stricter than some of the views available today. His view of God was tainted by the views of the townsfolk. God is ever forgiving, but alas, his creatures are not so forgiving. Arthur watched as the woman he loved became a pariah in his town. She was forced to live on the outskirts and to wear a red A upon her chest. She was forever branded outwardly, while he in turn would be forever branded on the inside. Her punishment brought him secret shame, for he was not strong enough to stand by her. His redemption cost him his life, he finally stands by her and dies.
In conclusion, sin and how someone copes with it is the measure of a person’s worth. Just as Hester has to endure the shame and pressure of the scarlet letter A on her for life and she rises above. Or how Roger Chillingworth ultimately sells his soul to whatever devil he could find to bring the suffering upon the one who slept with his wife, and gaining nothing but bitterness. And finally poor Arthur suffering alone in silence as the people around him hold him to a standard he could only fall short of. Hawthorne seems to be the only one who can truly

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