Scarlet Letter Essay

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All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. -Isaiah 64:6 Everyone sins, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of The Scarlet Letter, Created characters representing forms of sin that everyone commits either consciously or unconsciously.The bible makes it known that we can get swept up in our lives and emotions and this is the cause of sin, Chillingsworth did just this throughout the book.

Chillingworth is the personification of purposeful sin rather than subconscious sin.As the book continues he conciously get wrapped up more and more in his prolific needs for knowing the father and exacting his judgement upon them regardless of the spiritual and actual consequences. A quote that illustrates his physical change-“A change had come over his features,—how much uglier they were,—how his dark complexion seemed to have grown duskier, and his figure more misshapen,—since the days when she had familiarly known him.”(Hawthorne 102) As stated, Chillingworth's appearance becomes more disheveled, dark and dirty from when Hester had known him-to appear more like the sin he embodies. A clear physical representation of the sin manifesting itself in and on him. His infamy in conscious sin is known by the townspeople and they avoid and speak ill of him accordingly. He is aware the he is sinning, yet it doesn't seem to change his mindset as he continues his goal of destroying the reverend."We are not, Hester, the worst sinners in the world. 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...

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.... 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.

The symbolism in the characters of The Scarlet Letter, are meant to represent some of types of known and unknown sin, repented and not, as well as the evil motivation behind somes sin. Each of the major plot controlling characters in the book work as alliterations to the actual sin while also spinning the story of adultery and how it affects people in Puritan culture. Yet some get swept up in the whirlwind, like Chillingworth's unrelenting yearning for revenge and Dimmesdale’s internal conflicts leading him to shout his sin from the scaffold, being unable to take the torment anymore, all personifications of sin.
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