Acknowledging Sin Essay

Acknowledging Sin Essay

Length: 868 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the theme of sin is addressed to a great extent. Hester Prynne commits adultery with another man while her husband is away, which is a great “sin” in her Puritan community. The child that she bears with Arthur Dimmesdale and the scarlet letter “A” are the constant reminders of her sin. However, as the story unfolds, the meaning of the child and the letter begins to changes as Hester acknowledges her sin and seeks for redemption from her sins. Dimmesdale, on the other hand, conceals his sin, which causes him to feel great agony due to the guilt he experiences because of the concealment. Through the use of the contrasting characters Dimmesdale and Hester, Hawthorne reveals that if an individual acknowledges their sin, it leads to liberation from the guilt associated with it and acts as a catalyst for improvement in character, whereas those who conceal their sins become consumed by their guilt.
The characterization of Hester Prynne reveals that openly admitting to sin improves character and knowledge, which ultimately leads to redemption. Hester realizes that because of the scarlet letter, she now has access to many places previously inaccessible to her. For example, when Hester is in the forest with Dimmesdale, the Narrator recounts that “her sins were the passport into regions where other women dared not tread,” and “Shame, Despair, Solitude” were “her teachers,—stern and wild ones,—and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss” (180). She realizes that because her reputation within her community has been tainted by her sin, her reputation is no longer a worry, allowing her to explore and commit social taboos previously unthinkable. The “Shame, Despair, and Solitude” –all wi...


... middle of paper ...


... do remember the true meaning of the Scarlet Letter refuse to acknowledge that the letter is a symbol of sin. From the publics’ point of view, if a woman such as Hester Prynne is a “sinner,” then surely all of them must be sinners as well.
Sin, and more importantly the acknowledgment of sin, leads individuals to a betterment of character and life experience. Hester Prynne was liberated from the burdens of her sins much quicker than Dimmesdale was due to openly acknowledging it. Dimmesdale on the other hand was consumed by the agony caused by his concealment of sin, and was only relieved of his burdens when he acknowledged his sin in public. Sin is not shame. Sin does not mean ignominy. Sin is, however, an opportunity—opportunity for redemption, improvement, and learning. These are, however, only opportunities. It is up to the individual to act upon their sins.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Porphyria’s Lover: Love, Sex, and Sin Essays

- Porphyria’s Lover: Love, Sex, and Sin While it is easy to say that this poem is simply a frightening and perverse account of a man who cannot properly express his feelings for a woman, it is much more complex. Two major motifs in the poem, love and sin, create a sense of contradiction. Browning uses this contradiction to explore the relationship between art and morality. The title of the poem leads the reader to believe that the speaker and the woman have been in a relationship for some time. It evokes the image of a woman secretly visiting her lover....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Browning]

Better Essays
1417 words (4 pages)

Sin And The Human Condition Essays

- ... Sins are a symptom of Sin and are the physical action reflected by a Sinful mind-set. Sin is the action of saying ‘no’ to God, sins occur when that happens. Someone could commit sins without realising it, but Sin is always intentional rejection of God and search somewhere else for fulfilment. The second definition is that of the Human Condition: “that state of being in which we express, in our various devices, our struggle with the meaning of our existence in view of our alienation from God while missing Life from God.” This definition explains how humans relate to the definition of Sin: we attempt to fill the place that was created for God with anything we can because we are attempting...   [tags: Meaning of life, Human, Philosophy of life]

Better Essays
885 words (2.5 pages)

A Filthy Sin, Mentally Dysfunctional Behavior Essay

- ... It was reported as so that the “young gays” a part of the civil rights movement, that put up the biggest fight. The primary organization acknowledging gay men as an oppressed cultural minority was the Mattachine Society, founded in 1950 by Harry Hay and Chuck Rowland. Other important homophile organizations on the West Coast included One, Inc., founded in 1952, and the first lesbian support network, Daughters of Bilitis, founded in 1955 by Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin. At this time in the history of the LGBTQ’s come up, there was a domino affect in becoming one with one’s identity, which resulted in more awareness and confidence amongst the people that shared similar identities....   [tags: Homosexuality, LGBT, Gay Liberation]

Better Essays
1295 words (3.7 pages)

Porphyria’s Lover a Poem Written by Robert Browning Essay

- In the poem “Porphyria’s Lover”, the author Robert Browning uses the ideas of love and sin to create a contradiction and uses this contradiction to explore the relationship between morality and art. The poem is much more complex than a perverse, frightening account of a man with the inability to properly express his feelings for a woman. The title “Porphyria’s Lover” leads the audience to believe that the woman and the speaker have had a relationship for a good period of time. When the woman enters into the man’s presence, she enters the cabin with ease and starts a fire; something a person would not do unless they were comfortable with the person and the situation....   [tags: love and sin, contradiction, relationships]

Better Essays
1230 words (3.5 pages)

Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne Essay

- Choices are something everyone makes; it’s a part of life. Though, the outcome and effect of choice are unpredictable. Without choices no one would learn from their mistakes, human nature couldn’t evolve or grow. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne shows that, through many choices, sin is in human nature and the nature of sin. He shows it in his characters through the entire book. Everyone sins, it may or may not be know but it has an effect on everyone. In the novel, there are several types of sin shown....   [tags: choices, sin, development]

Better Essays
950 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Sexual Addiction Is A Complex Result Of Sin And Human Behavior

- SYNTHESIS Sexual addiction is a complex result of sin and human behavior and is best understood when looked at as a continuum. This continuum has 6 stages of possible involvement. The continuum also shows the possibility of being in one of three types of intimacy as well as dysfunction. Most individuals, in relation to the continuum, are involved in false intimacy. The main reason being, individuals want to avoid pain from real intimacy and have the need to control their lives. False intimacy is not what God intended, he desired us to have perfect intimacy....   [tags: Addiction, Sexual addiction, Human behavior]

Better Essays
1256 words (3.6 pages)

Scarlet Letter Essay

- All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. -Isaiah 64:6 Everyone sins, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of The Scarlet Letter, Created characters representing forms of sin that everyone commits either consciously or unconsciously.The bible makes it known that we can get swept up in our lives and emotions and this is the cause of sin, Chillingsworth did just this throughout the book....   [tags: sin, evil, forgiveness]

Better Essays
810 words (2.3 pages)

Sin of Adultery in Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter Essay

- The Scarlet Letter, a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, shows the adverse consequences caused by adultery between Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne. Dimmesdale and Hester committed the supreme sin of the Puritan society they belong. They must both deal with the effects of the scarlet letter. Pearl, the daughter of the two lovers, continuously punishes Hester for what she has done. Dimmesdale can only see Hester and Pearl when others will not find out or see. Hester finds a way to support herself and daughter, and at the same time, puts a mark on the possessions of some who are a part of society....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
1104 words (3.2 pages)

Dr. Wayne Grudem Uses A Biblical World View Essay

- Dr. Wayne Grudem uses a Biblical World View to explain that a Christian can still be successful in the business world. Gruden looks at eleven aspects of business, breaking them into individual chapters: 1. Ownership 2. Productivity 3. Employment 4. Commercial transactions (buying and selling) 5. Profit 6. Money 7. Inequality of possessions 8. Competition 9. Borrowing and lending 10. Attitudes of hearing 11. Effect on world poverty Dr. Grudem wisely says “Many aspects of business activity are morally good in themselves, and that in themselves they bring glory to God - though they also have great potential for misuse and wrongdoing.” It is sinful man that makes the morally good aspects of b...   [tags: Christianity, Jesus, Good and evil, Sin]

Better Essays
1595 words (4.6 pages)

Does Phyllis Wheatley use religious references to warn her readers about slavery and sin and its repercussions?

- Does Phyllis Wheatley use religious references to warn her readers about slavery and sin and its repercussions. Throughout the poem, “To the University of Cambridge, in New England”, Phyllis Wheatley suggest that she accepted the colonial idea of slavery, by first describing her captivity, even though this poem has a subversive double meaning that has sent an anti-slavery message. Wheatley’s choice of words indicates that her directed audience was educated at a sophisticated level because of the language chosen....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
754 words (2.2 pages)