The Consequences Of Sin In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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“To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards out of men” (Ella Wilcox). The book, The Scarlet Letter, is one all about sin. Some sins are actually committed, while other sins occur by no action taking place. Arthur Dimmesdale, a Minister, is the father of Pearl Prynne, who was born to a woman named Hester who is married to Roger Chillingworth. Meaning Hester committed adultery, and Pearl is the outcome. Meaning Hester committed adultery, and Pearl is the outcome. But Dimmesdale never spoke out, and Hester never revealed his name. As a result Hester was thrown in jail and burdened with her Scarlet A. Due to all of this, Pearl never knew her father. There were moments when she could have guessed, but Dimmesdale had never claimed …show more content…
Dimmesdale could not, did not, want to forge a relationship with Pearl; because how could he love pearl, if he couldn’t even accept his own self. Dimmesdale thought, “He had spoken the very truth, and transformed it into the veriest falsehood. And yet, by the constitution of his nature, he loved the truth and loathed the lie, as few men ever did. Therefore above all things else, he loathed his miserable self” (134)! Dimmesdale was a Minister who would like to tell the truth, and by keeping that secret for so long, it made him hate himself. He hated himself and his sin, and so by having Pearl there to look at, it would have just made him feel worse because he couldn’t come forward to claim her because of the lie. In the middle of the story when Dimmesdale asks Hester and Pearl to stand on the scaffold with him in the night, he felt something, “...there come what seemed a tumultuous rush of new life, other life than his own, pouring like a torrent into his heart and hurrying through all his veins, as if the mother and child were communicating their vital warmth to his half-torpid system. The three formed an electric chain” (143), Hawthorne states. What Dimmesdale felt was the feeling of family, this made him realise that to have admitted his sin and had this family, was far better than to lie and not have one. This sets the tone for the rest of the story when he cannot decide whether to leave with them to go somewhere else and be a family, or stay and try to live with himself and the lie. While keeping the lie inside of him it had sickened him, and he was dying. They thought if the family went away together it might heal him, but Dimmesdale could not go without saying goodbye to his congregation with one last sermon. This is when he finally does admit his sin, to himself and to the people. At this point is when he

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