The Significance Of Sin In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The Significance of Sin Everyone sins, it simply cannot be avoided. Nathaniel Hawthorne efficiently displays this theme throughout The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne explains that no matter how righteous or innocent one appears to be on the outside, everyone has sinned and responds to his or her sin differently. Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth are three characters whom all have committed several different sins amongst themselves and against others. Some of these characters deal with their sin appropriately; however, others choose to not deal with their sin at all or choose to increase their sin by trying to achieve revenge. Hawthorne 's ideas of sin are presented by proving how character’s sin can affect themselves, …show more content…
Hester is known in her town as nothing more than an adulteress, and wearing the scarlet letter is a constant reminder of her sin. By saying,“Thus the young and pure would be taught to look at her, with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast,—at her, the child of honorable parents,—at her, the mother of a babe, that would hereafter be a woman, —at her, who had once been innocent, —as the figure, the body, the reality of sin” (75) proves her town has no respect for her. Puritan villages, such as the one Hester is living in, show little to no mercy in dealing with those they consider sinners. “Much of the marble coldness of Hester’s impression was to be attributed to the circumstance that her life had turned, in a great measure, from passion and feeling and thought. Standing alone in the world-alone, as to any dependance on society” (155). They do not view Hester as a person, they see her as only an adulteress and a sinner. Hester’s sin caused not only problems for herself, but also for her daughter Pearl; Pearl was conceived out of the sin of her mother and Reverend Dimmesdale. Because the town is so harsh, they treat Pearl just as badly as they treat Hester. The town refers to Pearl as a witch child; they are all afraid of her because she acts differently than they do. She is exceedingly aware of the …show more content…
Hester is now known for her charity and helpfulness to others. Her “A” is now thought to mean able instead of adultery. However, her full redemption does not come until after the death of Dimmesdale. Before he dies, she was always latching on to the hope of being with him. When he dies she realizes that she is free and can do as she pleases without worrying about the consequences. However, after living in England for some time, Hester returns to Boston. She continues to wear the scarlet letter; however, no one remembers or knows what the A stands for. Hester can now go on throughout the rest of her life without being ridiculed by the Puritans. Returning to Boston is how Hester fully redeemed

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