Essay on The Worst Sinner By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1121 Words Oct 12th, 2015 5 Pages
The Worst Sinner “... here, in the sunny day… he knows us not; nor must we know him.” In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, we are approached by three sin stricken persons, all burning , whether inwardly or outwardly, with their deeds. With whom therein lies the worst sin? The answer is disclosed within the seemingly most pure of the three, Arthur Dimmesdale, the young, heaven blessed minister of the small Puritan society. For one who is supposed to be the epitome of a perfect, cherished follower of the Puritan principles, his immorality sinks him further from redemption than both Hester and Chillingworth. His transgression is weighed down by his efforts to hide his sins from the world’s eye, his avoidance of his own child and partner, and his cowardice and hypocrisy for his own congregation. Apart from committing adultery, blatantly breaking the seventh commandment, he chooses to hide his sin from the eyes of his fellow Puritans. In fact, he decides to remain unknown in the shadows, bringing it upon himself to appoint his own abuse. He passes on the righteous punishment from the other ministers and townsfolk, and at length, God himself, to take up a scourge as his own torturer. At one point he even “ascends the pillory under the cover of darkness,” (Kaul) standing in the very place he forced Hester to stand alone in a mimicry of her personal torment. But even so, he does it out of sight of everyone that would make his action meaningful and give him the peace he…

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