Hypocrisy In The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Hypocrisy is often seen as being one of the most vile displays of human nature. An unavoidable manifestation of the human being, hypocrisy has run rampant in daily life for the existence of humanity. The Scarlet Letter is essentially a story about hypocrisy and its consequences. Set in 1630 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Puritan lifestyle controls much of the society. Its people are expected to follow the strict religious ideals. If one was to break the rules, harsh punishments would ensue. When news spreads that one of their own, Hester Prynne, has committed the sin of adultery, they are quick to judge Hester for her sins. Ironically, these same women that are heckling and shouting death threats at Hester for her sins are known to the town…show more content…
In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne shows that hypocrisy is deadly.

- Hypocrisy can be attributed to the death of two of the novel 's most pivotal characters: Roger Chillingworth and Reverend Dimmesdale.- (not sure where to put this)

Dimmesdale becomes a hypocrite for disguising his sin and acting innocent when in reality he is as much at fault as Hester is. Unlike Hester, who eventually overcomes the boundaries set by the scarlet letter, Dimmesdale resorts to whipping himself to pay for his sins. The only reasonable remedy for his sins would have been to either step down from his ministerial position or confess his sin to the public. Instead, he attempts to cover up his sin and use Hester 's sin instead in his sermons. A faithful minister would not attempt to hide his sins from his congregation; and only to make matters worse; he is a hypocrite by preaching about how terrible Hester 's sin was, even though he committed it as well. Internally Dimmesdale
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Chillingworth holds himself to the belief that all doctors must care for their patients, but breaks his own rule when torturing Dimmesdale. Chillingworth is shown to be a hypocrite when he says "What evil have I done the man? ... But for my aid, his life would have burned away in torments!” (chapter 14) Chillingworth is attempting to come off to Hester as being a good man with intentions to bring back Dimmesdale for the sake of being a good samaritan. But, as the reader we know his intentions are to torture Dimmesdale. The motive behind this is revenge, however this does not justify his actions. When Hester goes and asks Chillingworth if he has indeed torture Dimmesdale, he replies by saying ““No!—no!—He has but increased the debt!” (156) Chillingworth is being a hypocrite in this quote because he is taking comfort in his patient’s pain but at the same time claiming himself as being a good physician. Chillingworth’s hypocrisy essentially ruins him by deforming him mentally and physically. His sole purpose in life is to seek revenge on Dimmesdale. In the end, it is his obsession with getting revenge on Dimmesdale that kills him. Both characters are brought to death by their worst sin,
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