Sin And Sin In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1714 Words 7 Pages
Sin in the Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter, a historical fiction novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a hopeless tale of one Hester Prynne, who committed adultery and now has to pay for her crime, and her relationship with the rest of the characters in the book; this reveals how a harsh society can ruin lives. The negative impact of committing sin and secret-keeping is seen throughout the entire tale of The Scarlet Letter; it is portrayed through Hester’s fate, the intertwined lives of Chillingworth and Dimmesdale, and the ultimate end.
The scarlet letter Hester Prynne now bears on her chest will unfairly and negatively rule the rest of her life. Her own wrongdoing led to the attainment of the scarlet letter, the symbol of an adulterer. Hester
…show more content…
Dimmesdale ended up dying because he was weak and couldn’t handle everyone he loved and trusted knowing the truth, and couldn’t bear to see his high and mighty position in society be torn down. He passed on quite soon after telling everyone what he did, and therefore escaped societal punishment. “He had told his hearers that he was altogether vile … and that the only wonder was, that they did not see his wretched body shrivelled up before their eyes, by the burning wrath of the Almighty!” (Hawthorne 99) Dimmesdale’s high position in society made him hold the opinions of the public in high regard, as they loved him and trusted him to properly hold that position. When he betrayed them, his own value of self plummeted and he could no longer efficiently help them with advice or prayer. He brought that fate onto himself. Roger Chillingworth died because he made a conscious choice to pour his soul into hating Dimmesdale. After Dimmesdale died, Chillingworth was reported in this way - “All his strength and energy - all his vital and intellectual force - seemed at once to desert him” (Hawthorne 177). His entire being was dedicated to looking after Dimmesdale and being with him. The betrayal he went through consumed his entire life, and after the object of his attention died, he had nothing else to live for. Hester made a lasting impression on society and yet nothing about her …show more content…
"The Scarlet Letter in the Scarlet Letter." The Scarlet Letter: A Reading, Twayne, 1986, pp. 83-92. Twayne's Masterwork Studies 1. Twayne's Authors Series, Accessed 5 Nov. 2017.

Bercovitch, Sacvan. “The Scarlet Letter: A Twice-Told Tale.”, 29 June 1996,

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Ticknor and Fields, 1850.

Pringle, Michael. "The Scarlet Lever: Hester's Civil Disobedience." Children's Literature Review, edited by Dana Ferguson, vol. 163, Gale, 2011. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 6 Nov. 2017. Originally published in ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance, vol. 53, no. 1, 2007, pp.

Related Documents