Constructive And Destructive Mentalities In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

1252 Words 6 Pages
Constructive and Destructive Mentalities Committing transgressions is an often unavoidable tendency of mankind. Yet, Puritan society and law in the New World revolved around the importance of following God’s will and maintaining a reputation free of sin. Consequently, failure to follow the strict laws and norms of daily life most often resulted in severe punishments or public infamy. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter juxtaposes the effects of these ramifications and of hiding sin upon one’s life. After Hester commits adultery with Dimmesdale, a minister, whose role in the sin is unbeknownst to the public, the town magistrates force Hester to wear an embroidered “A” on her chest to symbolize her shameful and adulterous behavior. Hester’s …show more content…
During a conversation between Hester and Chillingworth, Hester’s husband, he mentions that the magistrates were discussing whether Hester still should have to wear her “A”. *simple* Hester declares that “Were [she] worthy to be quit of it, it would fall away of its own nature, or be transformed into something that should speak a different purport” (116). By taking responsibility for her sin and working only to benefit others, Hester has transformed its meaning by accepting her sin and herself. This combination has changed what was one seen as “adulterous” into “able”. Furthermore, Hester’s opinion that only God should be able to remove the scarlet letter and not the same people who put it on her in the first place suggests that she fully accepts her mark because she, and all other puritans, look up to God as always being right. Therefore, Hester accepts that it was right to be on her the whole time. *Conclusion sentence*. In opposition, Dimmesdale exhibits no self-acceptance after he sins and suffers by only focusing on hate for years and years. *simple* Dimmesdale describes himself as “…altogether vile, a viler companion of the vilest, the worst of sinners, an abomination, a thing of unimaginable iniquity…” (99). Even though his sin is not of the worst kind, because he performed it out of passion rather than malicious intent, Dimmesdale clearly expresses his inability to make any advancement in who he is as a person. Furthermore, Dimmesdale claims, “the only wonder was that they did not see his wretched body shriveled up before their eyes by the burning wrath of the Almighty!” (99). Dimmesdale’s fear suggests that his love of God has turned into a fear of Him, due to the guilty effects of his sin. *add another analysis sentence*. Overall, Hester’s self-acceptance enables her to accept

Related Documents