Scarlet Letter Morality

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The moral consequences of sin always bestows itself upon the wrongdoer, whether he or she is a strong and independent individual or even a figure of God. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale must live in shame for the rest of their lives because of the adultery they committed with each other. Later in the story however, Hester progressively becomes accepting of her sin and it strengthens her sense of individuality while Dimmesdale hides it from society, leading him to both physically and psychologically torment himself. Hawthorne intentionally writes the plot in this context to compare and contrast the true impact sin takes on people. He wrote the story to convey the message that a sin’s …show more content…
Even thus much of truth would save me! But now, it is all falsehood! —all emptiness! —all death!” (183). In this quote Dimmesdale wishes that there was at least one person in the town that could acknowledge his sin so he does not live a false life. The next quote defines how he struggles with the acknowledgement of his sin and his desire for penance because of it. He knows his actions are unacceptable to God and he fears this represents his lack of salvation. To prove he still has devotion to God, he fasts until he faints and whips himself on the shoulders until he bleeds. Unfortunately however, it does not help Dimmesdale because he is still hiding his crime and is not receiving any public recognition at all for it. “His inwards trouble drove him to practices more in accordance with the old, corrupted faith of Rome... In Mr. Dimmesdale’s secret closet, under lock and key, there was a bloody scourge. Often times, this Protestant and Puritan divine had plied it on his own shoulders laughing bitterly… It was his custom, too, as it has been that of many other pious Puritans, to fast-...” (141). This shows the numerous amounts of ways and history behind Puritan and Protestant penances. Although Dimmesdale torments himself mentally, physically and constantly lies the public about his pure and absolute soul, he openly confesses about his sin with Hester shortly before his death towards the end of the

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