Essay on The Greater Sin in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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The Greater Sin in The Scarlet Letter

In essence, there were three main sins committed in The Scarlet Letter, the sins of Hester, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth. Roger Chillingworth committed the greatest sin because he let himself be ruled by hatred and the consuming desire for vengeance. The overpowering vengeance and hatred felt by Chillingworth caused his life to be centered on demeaning Dimmesdale and tormenting him until the end of time. Both Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale committed sins for which they were deeply remorseful, Roger Chillingworth, however, committed the greater sin because he felt no guilt.

Unknowingly, Hester Prynne sailed from Europe to the Americas betrayed and tricked. Waiting for the arrival of her husband, Roger Chillingworth, she lost hope in him ever arriving or even still being alive. After enduring two years of tortured loneliness and lost love, Hester wished to feel the warmth of love again. She tried to fill this emptiness by making love with the Reverend Dimmesdale. When her child Pearl was born, Hester's adulterous sin was discovered and she was cast out from their society and required to wear an embroidered “A” on her bosom in punishment. Hester felt guilt for her sin the rest of her life and sought repentance and absolution until the time she died. Hester never had true love for Chillingworth, but was tricked into marriage. She later told him this while speaking in her jail cell saying to him, “... thou knowest that I was frank with thee, I felt no love, nor feigned any” (Hawthorne, page #). Hester was betrayed, tricked and allowed herself to become caught up in the evil desires of another. She then allowed herself to be trapped by sin, cau...

... middle of paper ... year as a result of this. Roger Chillingworth's sin was the greatest committed because it ruled his life even until his death.

Comparing between the sins of Hester Prynne, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth, the reader can easily establish that Roger Chillingworth committed the greatest sin. He did this by being ruled by hatred and the feeling of vengeance.

1. In your conclusion it would have been good practice to restate the conditions of Prynne and Dimmesdale as well.

2. Always cite your quote with the name of the author and the page number on which the quote can be found. For example, a correct citation would be (Hawthorne 60).

3. Also in quotes, the punctuation should come after the parentheses. For example, “My folly and weakness.” (Pg. 52) should read “my folly and weakness” (Hawthorne 52).
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