Sin and Redemption:
The Transformations of Prynne, Chillingsworth, and Dimmesdale
In “The Scarlet Letter,” Hawthorne presents the consequences of sin as an important aspect in the lives of Hester Prynne, Roger Chillingsworth, and Arthur Dimmesdale. The sin committed, adultery, between Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale had resulted in the birth of their innocent little girl, Pearl. This sin ruined the three main characters’ lives completely in different ways. With the sin committed, there were different ways the characters reacted to it: embracing the sin, concealing the sin, and becoming obsessed and consumed with it. With each reaction to the sin there were also different actions of redemption.
The sin of adultery and the power to
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He suffers an emotional pain from concealing his sin, which does not get better till he redeems himself. In the end, Dimmesdale becomes completely truthful, but only in the view of the readers. He never blatantly announced to the townspeople that he was involved in adultery. He states that he “withheld [himself] from ding seven years ago, come hither now, and twine they strength” about the sin committed with Hester Prynne (173). Like Hester Prynne, who had the scarlet letter, he had “his own red stigma,” which was his suffering for committing the sin. However many of the townspeople interpret different things about the mark, some believe that the mark is a sin of guilt; others think that it magically placed there from Chillingsworth. The problem is that the author never states what happened with Dimmesdale and the readers are forced to assume that he was redeemed. This causes the views to be ambiguous and leaves the townspeople and reader confused. Once, the readers believe he redeemed himself, he was able to die in peace because all of his conscience was cleared. The sin of vengeance and how sin can ruin a person is depicted through the life of Roger Chillingsworth. Chillingsworth struggled throughout the story. He was obsessed trying to find the adulterer who got his wife pregnant. This obsession caused him to transform into a dark, cynical man. He used deception and manipulation to make