What Is The Theme Of Redemption In The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter is written by Nathaniel Hawthorne and published in 1850. The Story has four major characters Hester Prynne, Pearl, Reverend Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth. Hester is sent to America from Amsterdam ahead of her husband who is tying up loose ends with his business. After he has not arrived after 2 years and is assumed lost at sea, Hester has an affair with the much loved and dedicated Reverend Dimmesdale. A child, Pearl, is born as a result of this affair. Hester is forced to wear the scarlet letter “A” embroidered on the bodice of her dress because she has committed adultery and refuses to name her accomplice, the Reverend Author Dimmesdale. On the day that Hester is to be shamed in front of the townspeople, her husband …show more content…
Hester’s sin is adultery. She openly atones for her sin by facing her punishment on the scaffold and being paraded through the town. She has to wear the scarlet letter “A” on the bodice of her dress as her punishment by society. She is banished to the outskirts of town.. Children are rude to her and others in society treat her in a cruel manner. She is redeemed from her sin by the needle work she does for others and through her precious daughter, Pearl. Dimmesdale sin is adultery as well. However, he doesn’t admit his sin until the end. As a result of not admitting his sin publically he is not redeemed. He is not punished by society for his sin because his sin is unknown to the public. His conscience gets the best of him, and he punishes himself from within. The guilt of his sin eats him up inside. His guilt is so great that his health is on a continuous decline throughout the novel. When he finally confesses his sin publically on the scaffold and falls to his death, one assumes he is redeemed because of his confession and constant repentance. Chillingworth sin is his vengefulness. He is an evil man and a bad husband. He was also selfish o to convince Hester to marry him because he knew she did not love him. He was too old and …show more content…
Hypocrisy permeated Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth were all hypocrites. Hester is a hypocrite because she allows her lover to be tormented for seven years instead of telling him the identity of Chillingworth. Dimmesdale is obviously a hypocrite because he continues to preach everyday about sin and does not publically own up to his adultery. Chillingworth is a hypocrite because he pretends to be Dimmesdale’s friend while secretly tormenting him. "We are not, Hester, the worst sinners in the world. There is one worse than even the polluted priest! That old man 's revenge has been blacker than my sin. He has violated, in cold blood, the sanctity of a human heart. Thou and I, Hester, never did so!" (Hawthorne 162). The Church ladies at the scaffold were hypocrites because they wanted Hester to have a harsher sentence. One lady said. “At the very least, they should have put the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne’s forehead.” (Hawthorne 5) Another lady said she should have been executed. These so called “church ladies” should have been more forgiving because that is what the Bible teaches forgiveness. Perhaps Puritan society as a whole was hypocritical because they were not tolerant or

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