Analysis Of The Novel ' Scarlet Letter ' Essay

Analysis Of The Novel ' Scarlet Letter ' Essay

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The nature of evil and what constitutes sin are topics that have been discussed often in daily life and literature. There are wide scoping views on how sin and evil come about, and what represents them. Nathanial Hawthorne’s “Scarlet Letter” is an example of some of these discussions and views. Sin and evil are overarching themes that propel the storyline of the novel, and provide insight into the main characters. Each of the main pieces of the story has committed sin or perpetrated evil in at some point, and to some degree. The extents of their transgressions are of different natures, and viewed in various lights. Behind the different levels of sin is the question of whether or not evil comes naturally to people or if it is brought about by outside occurrences. How people act in response to their own wrongdoings is another topic that is addressed in the novel, as some use their sin to transform them into a better person, or into someone much worse. Hawthorne does a masterful job of expressing his views on the nature of sin and evil in this book, through his portrayal of Hester Prynne, Roger Chillingworth, and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale.

Hester Prynne is adorned with namesake of this novel as a result the sin that she committed. Although she is a “sinner”, she is far from an evil character; instead showing compassion and offering help often. She made a mistake but accepted her punishment, and became a better person because of it. Prynne did not allow her sin to define who she is as a person. She has committed far less sin than many of the characters in the book, but because of the society she lives in she is made an outsider because of her actions. There is very little evil behind her sin. She was left alone, and was unsure if...


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...te. He saw a sin enacted against him, and instead of letting it go, or growing because of it, he lets himself become such an evil person, that it is subtly implied that he is the devil himself. He prevents the happiness of many, and directly leads to a man’s death. The actions of this man are certainly CHILLING.
Sin and evil are driving forces of “Scarlet Letter”, and they are shown in different ways in different people. The way people act in the face of evil is very indicative of who the person truly is. Some people grow from sin, while others let it eat them alive. Those who commit the most visible sin can be the most good-natured, while someone who commits their sins unknowingly to others can be the most evil. Hawthorne is able to provide clear examples of the varied types of people in the world, and how their evil actions can affect the community around them.

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