The Puritan's View Of Adultery In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter, a woman named Hester, who is abandoned by her husband for two years, is having an affair with the pastor, Reverend Dimmesdale. Hester gives birth to a daughter while her husband is away which leads people to believe that she is having an affair. The Puritans’s view of sin is very strict, so they believe Hester deserves a terrible punishment.Hester keeps the father hidden from the knowledge of the townspeople, so she receives the brutal punishment by herself. Throughout the novel, Hester and Dimmesdale react and cope with their sin differently. This leads to different consequences and end results. In the novel, Hawthorne expresses the two characters’…show more content…
The elders of the Puritan community find her to be guilty and force her to wear a scarlet letter on her bosom for the rest of her life. Some of the people of the town are angry because her punishment is so easy. However, Hester takes her punishment and embraces it. Hester knows, “But now, with this unattended walk from her prison-door, began the daily custom, and she must either sustain and carry it forward by the ordinary resources of her nature, or sink beneath it” (Hawthorne). Hester embroiders her scarlet letter and dresses her daughter, Pearl, in scarlet. She also wears her scarlet letter way longer than the community says showing everyone that she has nothing to hide. Even though the strict Puritan values bring Hester to public shame, they also help Hester gain back the respect of her community. “To Puritans, a person by nature was inherently sinful and corrupt, and only by severe and…show more content…
He shows how Hester, who faces her problems head on, grows stronger and gains the respect of the townspeople, whereas Dimmesdale keeps his sin bottled up and is consumed by it. “Sometimes we keep the sin in our lives well protected, guarded, covered over with lies. Sometimes we are not free enough to our own sin, so we cannot be healed of it. An unacknowledged wound cannot be healed.” —Julian
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