What Does Sin Symbolize The Scarlet Letter

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In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne advances the central ideas …show more content…
The scarlet letter is a constant reminder of the public shame she must feel and the evil deed she has committed. Her scarlet letter represents sin, her sin. Hester is affected negatively by the punishment. When she goes out in public, her letter reminds everyone of what she has done and discourages others from committing the same sin, “Thus the young and pure would be taught to look at her, with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast,...as the figure, the body, the reality of sin,” and she is then humiliated (Hawthorne 82). She also experiences loneliness and suffering. The judgement Hester faced for the scarlet letter was so harsh that she moved to a cottage by the outside of the town. She goes into town to sell embroidery and is always terrorized by townspeople throwing rocks and pointing at her. The scarlet letter emotionally affects her by giving her suffering and sadness. Also she is socially neglected making her loneliness grow stronger. In contrast, the scarlet letter also symbolizes love. The “A” first appears after after Hester and Dimmesdale commit a sin, but an act of love. After receiving the letter, Hester never fought the people or expressed her opinion and just went on with her life, and helped the poor and fed them even though she had so little herself. She would help the sick and the letter helped everyone recognize that it was her doing

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