Hypocrisy And Forgiveness In The Puritan Society

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Forgiveness As long as civilized societies have existed, hypocrisy and discrimination have been an unassailable piece of each of them. A punishment for an offense has always been determined by the severity of the action, which inherently depends on the culture of the people. However, the presence of some level of judgement of others has remained inevitable. Many would like to ask the question “Why does this feeling of entitlement to pass judgement exist when everything is subjective to each person’s own morals?” One might ponder that very enigmatic phenomenon. However, this essay will focus on why and how a person should overcome the inevitable mistakes they will make in their lifetime. The word itself seems much too cliche, but as these literary…show more content…
It is important to discuss the individuals doing the act of forgiving and receiving forgiveness; especially since they can be the same person. Often we assume that people are motivated by their obligations to others, rather than their obligations to themselves. Throughout history, the Puritan society is very concerned with human obligation to other beings and to their God. Through generations of different interpretations of a holy book, they had developed a system of laws that determined right from wrong; a standard which humans had been doing since the beginning of religion. Upon committing a sin, the society determined the punishment and the forgiveness came from the God. They lived their lives in extreme devotion to a faith; to a belief that detracted from the human obligation that we all have to…show more content…
Obviously, the perfect portrayal of this is seen in Arthur Dimmesdale. Throughout the story, he attempts to maintain his sanity; carrying the burden of a secret “sin” (that changed the lives of more than even he knew). He represents the many that hide their actions in attempt to conceal the truth. The problem is: a person cannot forgive, until there is something to forgive. One must admit their wrongs in order to accept them. Perhaps it is unfair to judge him on account that his partner, Hester, wasn’t given the opportunity to lie. Though all of the humiliation he was initially spared, somehow evens the playing field of judgement. Hester and her poor child, Pearl, suffered humiliation and exile from society; whereas Dimmesdale was consistently praised in his furtiveness. Ironically, the latter endured the most damage– physically and mentally. Now, most of this pain was notably self inflicted, but there were other forces that came into play in this plotline. As a story of religion, some would call the last main character “The Devil”. Being that he evolved into the monster he became and didn’t originate as an evil force, I believe Roger Chillingworth should be seen as a cautionary example of the constant need for forgiveness/acceptance of things we cannot control. Once again, another character that ended up as their own worst
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