What Is The Consequences Of Sin In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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It is of importance to know that in life people commit sins that are deemed unforgivable by society’s standards. However, it is not the sin that determines the way the person lives their life, instead it is the way that they go about handling the situation that surrounds them. In Nathaniel Hawthorne 's, The Scarlet Letter, a young woman named, Hester Prynne, committed adultery which stunned the pious community of Boston, MA. Arthur Dimmesdale, the idolized pastor of the church, was the secret lover of Hester Prynne, and the father of her girl child, Pearl. The difference that lies between the two, is the fact that Hester’s consequences were received publicly, whilst Dimmesdale’s was done in private. Hester was doomed to bear a scarlet A upon …show more content…
Dimmesdale, on the other hand, consumed his sin and stored it within himself until his conscience forced him physically mark himself. Comparatively, both Hester and Dimmesdale went through a great deal of hardships due to their sin.
Within the puritan society, sin is used as a weapon to humiliate and mentally torture the person at fault. In the beginning of the book, Hester Prynne ascends from the prison where she is being held for her “crime”. The scarlet “A” is placed rightfully upon her bosom and the entire town gazes on at her as she stand atop the scaffold. The book stated that “She perchance underwent an agony from every footstep of those that thronged to see her, as if her heart had been flung into the street for all of them to spurn and trample upon” (Hawthorne). In the beginning, it was obvious that her “crime” took a toll upon her well being. She felt exposed and a mockery for the Puritans to look down on. Her sin held a negative effect on her, and in some ways took away who she was as a person. As the novel progresses, Hester’s scarlet letter takes on multiple meanings,
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He neglected to confess to his wrong doing, and that caused him seven years of mental torture that eventually became physical. His demise began when “ the health of him [Mr. Dimmesdale] had evidently begun to fail” (Hawthorne). The sin had began to take its effect upon Dimmsdale soul, so much so that many thought he was really going to die. “His form grew emaciated; his voice, though still rich and sweet, had a certain melancholy prophecy of decay in it; he was often observed, on any slight alarm or other sudden accident, to put his hand over his heart, with first a flush and then a paleness, indicative of pain” (Hawthorne). His deterioration began to slowly make its way into his every being. Dimmesdale could not avoid the realism of his life. His sins take effect upon his physical being, leaving him beaten up and bruised. “He looked haggard and feeble, and betrayed a nerveless despondency in his air, which had never so remarkably characterised him in his walks about the settlement, nor in any other situation where he deemed himself liable to notice” (Hawthorne). This quote clearly displays how much Dimmesdale concealed his real self from the eyes of the society in which he resided. He was alone in that moment, and in that moment he was the guilty filled Dimmesdale that wanted desperately to be revealed, but couldn’t be. When in public he had to be the idolized pastor that

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