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...
... middle of paper ...
...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.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Numerous interpretations of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter are published, displayed and debated since the original novel’s creation. However, the motif of “speech and silence” is explored by Harold Bloom in his book, Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations. Bloom claims that the characters in the novel view “speech as an act of potency” meaning that authority is established around conversation in the novel (1). In this extended critical writing, Bloom compares the different characters of the family to specifically explain their role in the novel’s dialogue by comparison-and-contrast.... [tags: Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations]
794 words (2.3 pages)
- Literary Analysis Three important scenes in the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne are within chapters four, seventeen, and twenty three. Each chapter contains a scene where it develops the story through its rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. In chapter four, “The Interview”, Hester is currently behind bars and is then greeted by a physician, Roger Chillingworth, who is also her former husband as quoted, “Master Brackett, the jailer, thought fit to introduce a physician…His name was announced as Roger Chillingworth.” (Hawthorne 67-68).... [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]
1674 words (4.8 pages)
- The Scarlet Letter: An Analysis of Puritanism and Sin The Scarlet Letter is a modern classic of American literature written about controversy and published with controversy. The main topic of the book, adultery, is written in a dark and sad way, as Hawthorne describes injustice, fate or predetermination and conscience ( Van Doren, 1998) . No other American novel of the time has such a controversial theme as Hawthorne's, The Scarlet Letter. The setting of Nathanial Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is the seventeenth century Puritan New England.... [tags: Scarlet Letter Hawthorne]
2187 words (6.2 pages)
- Emerson’s idea of self-reliance revolves around the idea that society is bounded by the members conforming to the needs of others. He believes that conforming to society is only a need for ones acceptance of others. This then translates to the society portrayed in The Scarlet Letter where at the time Hawthorne strictly based the stories society on the Puritan lifestyle. Puritans where very uncompromising with their standards of living and also keeping up with their lifestyle, which can be clearly shown in the daily life of Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale the lives of which that have been forced to break down emotionally and physically to conform to the norms of society.... [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne]
1707 words (4.9 pages)
- Jordan Keller Mrs. Mcguirt TSL Essay 25, Oct. 25 Corruption of the Heart The Scarlet Letter, a novel based in Boston with Hester Prynne, Roger Chillingworth, and Arthur Dimmesdale as the main characters, focuses on sin and its repercussions. Adultery and Hypocrisy are two such sins that are the main focus of the plot. Some think that adultery is the sin that the book is concerned with, but if that were so it would pervade through the entire novel on a less superficial level that it does. Hypocrisy, on the other hand, has a constant and repetitious under light in the entire novel that leads to the conclusion that the novel is not teaching about adultery, but hypocrisy with an underlying idea... [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne]
993 words (2.8 pages)
- Teenagers, adults, grandparents, and all those who own high tech cell phones commonly use emojis when texting. Why are emojis so popular. Emojis can portray the feelings that the sender is texting effectively, therefore avoiding possibilities of miscommunication. For example, if one receives a text in response to a question saying, “Ok,” the recipient can interpret the message in two ways, agreement or disagreement. The expression of a cartoon yellow face can describe the sender’s feeling as being happy or unamused.... [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne]
1159 words (3.3 pages)
- Exploring the Wilderness Many different literary works contain complex representations that can be interpreted in many different ways. Authors portray these representations through the use of characters, objects, the setting, and much more. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the forest around the society represents different things, depending on who is there. It is an open place where anything can happen. It is filled with wild animals, Native Americans, and other wild threats to the townspeople.... [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]
1278 words (3.7 pages)
- ... She tells her daughter Pearl that, “Thou must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give thee," while Pearl is playing outside the governor’s home (Hawthorne 71). Ever since Hester put on the scarlet A, she had been literally and metaphorically walking in the darkness. The townspeople see her as a woman of sin (darkness), and they do not want to associate with her. Even little Pearl could tell that the scarlet A on her mother’s chest was full of darkness as she said, “Mother, [...] sunshine does not love you.... [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]
1267 words (3.6 pages)
- “Women belong in the kitchen.” “All women should be barefoot and pregnant.” “Women are strictly homemakers.” These are a few of the commonly used phrases regarding the female role in society that date back to the mid-seventeenth century. However, ardent supporters of gender equality have surfaced in almost every culture where this ideology is practiced. Nathaniel Hawthorne explores this inveterate societal conflict through his story The Scarlet Letter. The main character, Hester Prynne, is punished for committing adultery by being forced to wear a scarlet letter upon her bosom; Hawthorne created a story sympathetic to the female cause and demonstrated, through Hester, qualities of early femi... [tags: Literary Analysis, Feminism]
2094 words (6 pages)
- Nathaniel Hawthorne uses his novel, The Scarlet Letter to critique the Puritan faith. In developing his story of the adulteress Hester Prynne, he uses both religious and natural imagery to show his disdain for the Puritan religion. The Scarlet Letter is a vivid portrayal of his utter dislike for the Puritans and everything that they stand for. Hawthorne is in complete disagreement with them and makes it clear throughout the book. Though it is shown throughout The Scarlet Letter that Nathaniel Hawthorne is completely against the Puritan faith, his views, other than those shown in the book, happen to be quite similar as well.... [tags: Hawthorne Scarlet Letter Analysis]
1021 words (2.9 pages)