Sin In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays sin to its best form in the novel The Scarlet letter. All throughout this novel, the act of sin is prevalent in almost every chapter. Nathaniel Hawthorne is known for portraying one solid concept throughout his novels. He also uses symbolism to portray human condition, knowledge, and sin in a different way. The tone exhibits a type of serious feel throughout the story, which has an impact on the ways that Hawthorne describes the different symbolisms. Another way the Scarlet letter can be interpreted is through the different analysis of the characters throughout the story. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism and irony to show how the main characters illustrate the themes of sin, revenge, and light and dark imagery. …show more content…
The theme of sin is portrayed in different ways throughout the novel. Sin plays a huge role in the whole novel and in Hester’s life. It is the main focus of the whole book. Hester has committed one of the worst sins that Puritans can think of. She has been punished in that she has to wear the letter “A” on her chest for the rest of her life. Hawthorne shows throughout the novel that sin is the main focus on all the characters. Hester Prynne takes the harshest punishment for her sin she has committed. In Puritan life sin is a huge deal and is frowned upon. In the beginning of the novel Hawthorne states that the whole town is built around a prison. “The founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison” (Hawthorne). This statement alone is key to the puritan lifestyle back then. “To a nineteenth-century audience, the narrator observes, some of these offenses would seem minor, but to a group the respects authority simply because it is authority, the breaking of any law is a matter of extreme seriousness, no matter which law it is” (Baym, “Who”). The puritans take their sin very seriously. That is why Hester had such a harsh punishment. “When they [puritans] required …show more content…
Chillingworth does not find out the truth til near the end of the novel. Chillingworth tries to get revenge on Hester and Dimmesdale in many ways. He tries to sabotage them and he tries to kill Dimmesdale. Hawthorne makes these situations known to the readers for us to get a better understanding of the theme of Revenge. Nathaniel Hawthorne is a great writer and philosopher. All throughout the novel, “The Scarlet Letter” he portrays a plathera of themes such as sin, revenge, and light and darkness. “Hawthorne’s symbolic mode requires us to look at events for their larger significance. But rather than thinking that the story exists for the sake of presenting its themes, let us take the opposite approach: the themes exist for the sake of making the story more interesting” (Baym, “Themes”). Hawthorne uses symbols and irony to help the reader get a better understanding of the themes of sin, revenge, and light and

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