Sin, Guilt, And Hypocrisy In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter “Guilt is the most painful companion of death,” said the Coco Channel. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s essay, The Scarlet Letter, this is but one of the major themes he explores in a Puritan society. For throughout his story, we see the major theme of a Puritan society, and how this society meshes with the idea of sin, guilt, and hypocrisy. Hawthorne gives us his representation on the ideas of a Puritan society by associating a number of themes within his story, making The Scarlet Letter. The reader is bombarded with these themes as they read, giving insight to Hawthorne’s opinions and beliefs. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, the author attempts to give insight of a Puritan society to the reader by combining the themes of sin, guilt, and hypocrisy. Throughout the entirety of The Scarlet Letter, the reader …show more content…
In addition, hypocrisy is also one of the most common themes through a Puritan society in general (Goldman). All of the townspeople throughout The Scarlet Letter scold Hester for actions, however this is ridiculously hypocritical due to the fact that they are all sinners as well. Ignoring the fact that they all sin themselves, they still continue to harrass Hester due to the “A” upon her bosom. Many believe that this is the biggest idea that Hawthorne was trying to get across to the readers, that a Puritan society is highly hypocritical. “Else you would surely have heard of Mistress Hester Prynne, and her evil doings,” a townsperson speaking to Chillingsworth (Hawthorne 59). Here, this idea of the townspeople only shaming Hester for being sinful is proven true. Hawthorne exaggerates this throughout the story to explain that hypocrisy is by far the biggest downfall of a Puritan society. However, it was the three themes together that truly brought out Hawthorne’s viewpoints on this type of

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