Scarlet Letter Sin

Sin is presented as a recurring theme throughout the novel, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The plot focuses on the protagonists Hester Prynne and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale’s sin of adultery within the Puritan community of Boston. This outrageous wrongdoing deeply upsets the Puritans. To serve her punishment, the community forces Hester to wear a “letter A” on her chest wherever she goes. Dimmesdale faces less of a public punishment but internally harms himself for the sin as well, feeling regretful about his past action. He is very well respected by his peers and is challenged throughout the book as to whether or not he should admit to his sin before people discover that he fathered Hester 's child, Peral. The book focuses on the lives of Hester and Dimmesdale after they commit their sin and how …show more content…
Hawthorne fails to emphasize, however, that there is yet another major sinner in the book, Hester 's husband, Roger Chillingworth. Although he seems to be the affected victim in the affair between Hester and Dimmesdale, his resulting actions after he find out about their sin, are stemmed from hate and anger. Chillingworth’s malicious intent to seek revenge against Hester and Dimmesdale is the least justified of the sins throughout the text because of his inability to feel sympathy and minimal penitent; this causes great harm to Hester and Dimmesdale, making him the biggest sinner. Chillingworth acts out of hate and anger while seeking revenge against Hester and Dimmesdale because of his feelings of betrayal and jealousy. When he returns to town and sees Hester on the scaffold “he slowly and calmly raises] his finger, [makes] a gesture with it in the air, and [lays] it on his lips” (Hawthorne 57) telling her he wants to keep

Related Documents