Morality In The Scarlet Letter

1301 Words 6 Pages
The Perception of Sins and the Theme of Morality in The Scarlet Letter In The Scarlet Letter, the perception of sin deviates from person to person. The deviation occurs on the severity of the sin that was committed and who committed the sin. Focusing on Hester and Dimmesdale, it is easy to compare the consequences of coping with the perception of their sins, on a private and a public level. The outcome of dealing with their sin is extremely different. The theme of morality affects Hester and Dimmesdale as well. They have varying levels of morality and this changes during the course of the novel. In terms of the book, The Scarlet Letter, the theme of morality plays a large role in the sequence of events. The question is, who has stronger …show more content…
She faces public ignominy. However,even when people were gadflies, she ignored them and went along with her life. Pearl stood up for herself, even if Hester did not. In “The Meaning of the Scarlet A”, Claudia Durst Johnson hypothesizes that “The community is outraged that she has made a mockery of her punishment by making this plain symbol of adultery into a gorgeous decoration” (132). One could argue that Hester is treated more harshly than Dimmesdale because of the “A” that she wore and it makes her sin public, whereas Dimmesdale kept his “A” hidden beneath his clothing and only one other person knew about it and he was seen as Holy. After quite a while, the sermons about her in the street stopped and so did the harsh comments of the townspeople. She dressed plainly and more by Puritan standards. She ostracized herself. At the end of the book, she moves away and the story of Hester and the letter became an old story, until she returned to Boston and became a mother figure to the young women of the town. The way that Hester and Dimmesdale’s sin is percepted affects the outcome of their coping with …show more content…
On one end of the spectrum, Hester is completely able to deal with the perception of their sin. She ignores people and does not care that they disrespect her. The outcome of Hester dealing with the perception of their sin is basically her ostracizing herself because she does not want to deal with the sermons about her in the street. After they stop, Hester never really acquaints herself with the people of the town. She hides herself under gray clothes and moves on with her life. It is definitely conflicting with how Dimmesdale reacts. He cannot deal with not divulging his sin to the public and the lack of being able to do so ultimately caused his death. “But he hid it cunningly from men, and walked among you with the mien of a spirit, mournful because so pure in a sinful world” (Hawthorne 281). This is the reason why Dimmesdale’s life came to a dolorous end. His soul was being destroyed by the people that thought that he was Holy. He said this during his final moments on the scaffold. Ironically, this is the place where Hester refused to reveal his name and it only seems fitting that the reveal should happen right where it began. In conclusion, Hester and Dimmesdale’s morality is the backbone of The Scarlet Letter. Consequently, their moral values and lack of moral values change during the course of the chronicle. How the two deal with their sin internally is unalike as well. Dimmesdale is

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