Analysis Of ' The Scarlet Letter ' Essay

Analysis Of ' The Scarlet Letter ' Essay

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What is considered a sin? Sin by definition is “a transgression of divine law, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle”( dictionary). Everyone sins, and the consequences of sin are different for everyone. The lives of Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingsworth were significantly affected by sin in The Scarlet Letter. Hester suffered from her sin emotionally while both Chillingsworth and Dimmesdale had severe mental and physical changes.

What deems a sin punishable? Is death a decent form of punishment for adultery? What about branding the letter A on the forehead of an adulterer? Seem a bit harsh? It is not surprising that these were suggestions made from the women in Salem (recall the Salem witch trials?). The puritan society was obviously immoral based on how the narrator described the audience during Hester’s punishment on the scaffold. “They were stern enough to look upon her death, had that been the sentence, without a mummer of its severity, but had none of the heartlessness of another social state, which would find only a theme for jest in an exhibition like the present”(39). The puritan society was corrupt and the people hypocritical, the puritans were supposed to be a kind people yet instead of showing kindness “a roar of laughter burst from the multitude, each man, each woman, each shrill –voiced child, contributing their individual parts” (40).

Hester’s life was significantly affected by sin but she was better able to handle her sufferings than the others presumably because her sin was known. Since the whole town knew what she did and what her punishment was, Hester had time to accept the consequences and continue her life. As punishment for her sin, Hester was condemned to sta...


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...te vigils and fast in order to punish himself. At the end of the novel Dimmesdale finally found peace in confessing on the scaffold.

In conclusion, The Scarlet Letter was a truly heartbreaking tale of two lovers whom suffered greatly and were never able to be with each other. If all characters had been honest from the beginning, they may have found happier endings. The story showed how the consequences of one sin or one lie could create a snowball effect and cause lasting damage. As a result of sin, the lives of Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth were greatly affected. Chillingworth became cruel, Dimmesdale became an untrue hypocrite, and Hester became dishonest by keeping secrets. Overall it is a shame that the puritan society was so judgmental and harsh. If the puritans had been more accepting of people’s faults, the characters could have chosen to be honest.

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