Disobedience In Scarlet Letter

Superior Essays
Ideate the open discussion of every immoral act you have ever executed. Although most are well hidden within our minds, inquities are now deemed a social norm. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, sins are portrayed as a direct disobedience of God. Hester Prynne is shamefully branded with the letter “A” as a representation of her adultery, while Arthur Dimmesdale, Hester’s partner in crime, chooses to keep his offense confidential. Both are disgraced from their community, though one is anonymous. Hester is publicly shunned while Arthur’s punishment is self-loathing. Each character deals with their consequences in varying ways, but this did not eliminate the intense remorse following their actions.
The heavy impact of Hester’s transgression
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Upon entering the courtroom, where they were trying her with adultery, the men and women “were now impressed as if they beheld her for the first time ” (32). She held herself with such confidence, giving the illusion that this symbol had absolutely no effect on her. Regardless of the letter’s negative implications, Hester does not let it alter her pride. She wears it with gratification, having it “fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom” (32). Hester does the same with the other representation of her sin, her daughter, Pearl. She “had bought the richest tissues that could be procured” and showed her “before the public eye” (51). Just as she confidently wears the scarlet letter, she showcases her daughter the same. Though Pearl is a representation of a long lasting curse, Hester has been granted with the gift of the young girl’s life. She “named the infant ‘Pearl,’ as being of great price” and with the isolation from the Puritan society, “[Hester’s] only treasure” (51). This unholy act has ironically blessed her with “a lovely child” as a companion in her secluded …show more content…
Both characters went against how “Puritans came to define a set of religious principles” and the way a “society should be organized” (Give Me Liberty! An American History, 65). They committed fraudulent behavior that went directly against their religious way of life. This branding of the Adultery will be forever engraved in their souls, consuming their self perception. In a way, this experience has bonded them together as outcasts of society. Their illegitimate child’s existence is a reminder that “a great law had been broken and whose elements were perhaps beautiful and brilliant, but all in disorder…” (Hawthorne, 51). The pair both have a living symbol of a beautifully tragic sin. Hester holds the physical emblem of their crime on her chest, but they each have it etched upon their

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