Sin In Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter'

1159 Words 5 Pages
Ameneh Mustafa
American Literature
24 September 2014
“We are all infected & impure with sin. When we display our righteous deed, they are nothing, but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind”. This verse from the Bible says that when sin is committed it brings nothing but unsatisfactory. Throughout “the Scarlet Letter”, Hawthorne puts in many major symbols in his novel to convey a positive message to his readers, but the one overall symbol that i felt kept coming up, was the scarlet letter A. Hawthorne proves that sin can affect a person so much that they will eventually become a stronger individual.
To start with, everyone knows hester for her sin & is seen
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The townspeople were starting to view Hester differently. Yet, if Hester was not strong and patient this would have not happened, because she proved them wrong and was able to accept her sin. Most people would not be able to do this; they would actually be suffering instead of growing and learning as Hester did. It would have been easy for Hester to hide and remain in the shadows of the town. Nevertheless, she went beyond what people expected her to do. For example, in the novel it says, “Do you see that women with the embroidered badge? It is our Hester, who is so kind to the poor, so helpful to the sick, so comfortable to the afflicted”. This shows that Hester has been working hard, instead of hiding from her society; she reaches out to people and works so hard that she transforms the meaning of the scarlet letter. Hester submitted without complaint to the worst it could offer, and she never begged for sympathy. She showed that her weakness did not come between her and her sin. Hester proved that she can handle whatever difficulty comes at her. She stayed strong until people saw her for who she really is, a strong, caring individual. Moreover, another quote from the novel that showed her transformation from a sinner to a stronger person is, “Her breast, with a badge of shame, was but the softer pillow for the head that needed one…such helpfulness was …show more content…
Unlike Dimmesdale, Hester stood up for herself and she managed to stand up on the scaffold with Pearl in her hands. She did not try to avoid telling people the truth about committing what she has done. Hester violated a rule of their society and willingly accepted the punishment for it, which was wearing the scarlet letter A. This concludes to show how strong Hester is. Unlike most people, Hester accepted what was offered without a word of disagreement. For example, in the novel it showed how she accepted their punishment, “In a moment, however, wisely judging that one taken of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another. She took the baby on her arm, and with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her townspeople and neighbors. On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A”. This showed that Hester was nervous at first but yet flashed a “haughty smile” at the town’s people. She showed them that she accepts their punishment, but in a way it feels like she neutralizes the power of the scarlet letter. This just proves that Hester learned to stand up for herself. Moreover, near the end of the novel Hester was offered to remove the scarlet letter from her chest. However, she did not accept

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