Dimmesdale is so overcome by his guilt and sin that he tries to hurt himself for everything he has done. "To the untrue man, the whole universe is false, it is impalpable, it shrinks to nothing within his grasp....The only truth that continued to give Mr. Dimmesdale a real existence on this earth was the anguish in his inmost soul." (Hawthorne 134) Obviously guilt, sin, revenge, and punishment in the book all revolve around the scarlet letter and everything that the characters tried to overcome. We can clearly see the lasting effects of unconfessed sin and how it can change your life. That’s why you should think and pray before you do
Most people believe that they are the good guys. Ask any terrorist, thief, or serial killer and they will all blame some other factor or person for their actions. In the age of Puritanism everyone participated in this area of irrational thought, or else they faced the fires of Hell. They had to choose between accepting their sins, projecting their sins onto another, or by fully succumbing to their sins in order to preserve their faith. This is why Hester Prynne is given the scarlet letter, this is why Arthur Dimmesdale laughs hysterically as he scourges himself in the dead of night, and this is why Roger Chillingworth becomes an evil shadow of his formal self.
Much of The Scarlet Letter talks about her treatment at the hands of the townspeople, because her transgressions are out in the open, and they can punish her. On the other end of the spectrum is the Reverend Dimmesdale, who fairly goes mad from guilt. Every person considers him a godly, amazing man, while he has actually sinned as much as Hester. His concealed sin eats away at him, and he constantly wishes that he would be brave enough to confess. Some of Dimmesdale’s torments are the cause of Roger Chillingworth, Hester’s former husband.
As a result, when Celie's mother passed away, she felt that she killed her mother, when in fact her mother was terminally ill. After two pregnancies, Celie was unable to produce anymore children because her father injured her reproductive system. The children Celie had, her stepfather took them away from her, while in her heart she yearned to find them even years later. Celie's stepfather degraded her and always wanted to keep her self-esteem low by constantly telling her "she is a bad influence on my other girls...she ugly don't even look like she kin to Nettie...she aint smart either"(9). After Celie got married, the way men treated her did not change too much. Celie got beaten in the same manor Mr. _____ beat the children, but only because she was his wife.
This quote exemplifies the loneliness Hester feels. Her exposed sin has made her the poster child for unrighteousness. No one wants to be associated with her, when she walks down the street people move out of the way, even priests, and children avoid her path. The only way for Hester to be assimilated back into society is to work at it and be patient. Seven years after she is given the scarlet letter the hatred of her is greatly diminished.
When Lady Capulet realizes that her daughter had fallen for a boy she had not approved off, she was furious. She says that she “did not succumb to such foolishness” (Berkman 291). Lady Capulet is influenced by this event in which her daughter died for her love and responds with harsh thoughts that support her pride that she did nothing of the sort when she was young. The plot is drastically increased with a further look into the character of Lady Capulet by Friar Laurence. He accuses her of being an “unnatural creature” and asks if she is even a women (Berkman 204).
Their sin becomes the only thing these men think about, consuming them to the point that nothing else is important, and eventually takes their lives. For Dimmesdale, his guilty conscience and self-abuse are the causes of his untimely death. For Chillingworth, his obsessive revenge becomes permanently engraved into his being and when the cause for his vengeance dies he dies soon afterward. Dimmesdale and Chillingworth are both wretched sinners with transgressions that have different effects - physically, emotionally, and mentally. It is obvious that both men are affected drastically by their wrongdoings and in the end pay with their lives.
After having admitted to her fault but refusing to say that the town clergyman Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale committed the adultery with her and instead keeping it in secret to protect him, Hester is forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” for the entirety of her life as a reminder of her sin. Her secret comes to represent her destruction through her never-ending guilt and public scrutiny. For example, a young townswoman comments on the scarlet letter, “Ah, but…let her cover the mark as she will, the pang of it will be always be in her heart” (Hawthorne 47). By saying this, the woman is noting the fact that though Hester may try to hide the incident, the guilt of her ways will
However, as time goes on, the public humiliation of her sin weighs heavily upon her soul. “An accustomed eye had likewise it’s own aguish to inflict. It’s cool stare of familiarity was intolerable. From first to last, in short, Hester Prynne had always th... ... middle of paper ... ...ld. Chillingworth becomes so evil and cruel in his treatment of Arthur that it would have been better for the Reverend to die.
There is one worse than even the polluted priest! That old man's revenge has been blacker than my sin. He has violated, in cold blood, the sanctity of a human heart. Thou and I, Hester, nev... ... middle of paper ... .... The consequences of his admittance to the grievous sin were also a factor in his decision and ended up being too much for him in the end leading to his passing as soon as he took Pearl and Hester’s hands on the scaffold and told the world he was a sinner.