Hypocrisy In The Scarlet Letter Essay

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INTRODUCTION: Hypocrisy is a prevalent theme for authors throughout history. Many authors use tools such as satire and rhetoric to subliminally prove a lesson to readers. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter serves an allegorical purpose to highlight hypocrisy in organized religion.
THESIS: Hawthorne uses Dimmesdale’s sermons, relationship to other characters, and internal conflict to show how there is no way to rid organized religion of all hypocrisy because all men are sinners; humans cannot decide which man is less sinful than others because sin is a common and equally expressed trait among men. The pressure to preserve the purity of Dimmesdale’s congregation dictates his behavior. BODY PARAGRAPH ONE:
Topic Sentence: Although Dimmesdale
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Conclusion: Hawthorne provides his opinion on the hypocrisy behind the "true purpose" of a religious institution in The Scarlet Letter.

Topic Sentence: The most detrimental effect of Dimmesdale’s profession is his internal response to his infidelity. Hawthorne uses Dimmesdale’s reputation to explain how organized religion creates a hierarchy of sin, establishing one person to lead the rest although all of the men may have sinned. This hierarchy takes a toll on Dimmesdale’s wellness.
Context: As the novel progresses, Dimmesdale becomes more weak and sickly. He is physically and mentally exhausted.
1. Dimmesdale fantasizes saying “I, your pastor, whom you so reverence and trust, am utterly a pollution and a lie!” (Hawthorne 115)
- Dimmesdale’s profession requires him to remain strong and holy to his following. However, the church does not recognize the faults of all men, leaders included, and Dimmesdale cannot be honest to his congregation about his sin; he fears his reputation and life purpose will be lost in a cloud of

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