Others feel that a person's punishment should be based upon the severity of their crime. However, what many people overlook is the fact that in time, we all have committed sins. In The Scarlet Letter, the idea of sin and punishment is the main theme of the novel and how Hester Prynne, the main character, has been punished for her sin of adultery. As Nathaniel Hawthorne states in this novel, "In the view of Infinite Purity, we are sinners all alike." This statement puts a big question mark on the true lives of the Puritans.
Some say to sin is to go to hell, some say sin is a scourge of human nature, some say sin must be confessed, and some say sin must be forced out of people through punishment. The internal consequences of believing one has sinned are more intangible than social attitudes toward sin, but they appear just as often and in just as many different ways. The novel The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, exudes sin. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses symbolism to demonstrate the effects of sin not only on public reputation, but also on one’s psychological state. The Scarlet Letter A, which Hester Prynne wears on her chest as punishment for adultery, causes her anguish through ignominy but allows her to improve over time through the public nature of her disgrace.
Hester is partially exposedalthough she reveals her sin for everyone to see through the scarlet letter and she allows the dark and serious mannerisms of Puritanical soc... ... middle of paper ... ...t-ridden victims of Puritanism could not look forward to the kind of transformation that Hester underwent and, instead, they were doomed to a lifetime of misery. Thus, through the brilliant and vivid use of colors from light to shade, from the startling to the colorless, Hawthorne builds his characters, explains their strengths and weaknesses, and shows how they react and live in a Puritan world full of dark intrigue, concealment, and hypocrisy. As characters change and evolve, so do the colors in which they are draped, yielding ultimately the lesson that brightness and openness in character will always triumph over the dark sordidness of repression and concealment.
Being the mother that she is, Amanda wishes nothing but “success and happiness for her precious children” (Williams 1996). Although her mothering techniques can be extreme and or suffocating to some degree, she is not oblivious to all of the dysfunctional nature of her family. Amanda cares about the health of her children. A childhood illness has left her daughter Laura with a limp. Being aware of this “cripple”, Laura has developed a mental fragility and an inferiority complex that have isolated her from the outside world (Unknown, Amanda Wingfield).
While there, she pleads with the Governor, magistrates, and ministers that she be allowed to keep Pearl, exclaiming, 'She is my happiness!--She is my torture, none the less! Pearl keeps me here in life! Pearl punishes me too! See ye not, she is the scarlet letter, only... ... middle of paper ... ...er to overcome the passion, once so wild that had brought her to ruin and shame." (Hawthorne, 165) It was Hester's motherly sentiments to nurture and love her child that saved her from temptation and from death and opened her heart to the poor and needy around her.
However, after coping with her sin and allowing herself time to realize her mistake, she believes the “badge of shame” (Hawthorne 58) will teach her daughter and benefit her. She embraces her punishment in order to purify herself. Hester grows stronger from her transgression by learning to endure the humiliation and move on with a bigger purpose: raising her daughter. To Hester, Pearl “is [her] happiness--[her] torture” (60) and continues to be her only anchor. Hawthorne describes Hester as “self-ordained a Sister of Mercy” (104) where her scarlet letter is no longer perceived as an icon for her sin, but rather a “symbol of her calling” (104).
Through careful analysis of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthrone and The Crucible by Arthur Miller; one will discover similar themes. These themes include sin, punishment of sin, the devil, and love/lust. Through careful analysis and discussion one can see the evident relationship that exists between these two works. The most obvious theme contained in both works is sin. In The Scarlet Letter, the sin that has been committed is adultery and has produced an illegitimate child.
Yet with all the mother has done Dee has shoved her raising to the side instead of opportunities made available for by her mother. The quilts symbolize the “heritage” of this family, so when Dee wants them for a decorative purpose but no other need, the mother finally sees one how ungrateful or bling Dee has become, looking down on her mother and sister. Maggie unselfishly was willing to give Dee the quilts and their mother finally sees through that of who they truly belong to,
Cursed with the permanent mark of adultery upon her bosom, Hester Prynne, the main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, The Scarlet Letter, faces many hardships and disgrace. Referencing these hardships, Hawthorne portrays the scarlet letter as the forbidden mark of adultery. Upon first meeting Hester, the scarlet letter is a symbol for adultery and disgrace. As the story progresses, the scarlet letter evolves into a symbol of wisdom and identity. Hawthorne utilizes each different meaning of the scarlet letter to make a commentary on the Puritan society.
In the Puritan era, committing the sinful act of adultery is illegal and punishable by a variety of condemnations. When Hester Prynne commits adultery, she is forced to wear the scarlet letter on her bosom because she refuses to confess who her partner is. The presence of the scarlet letter changes the Puritan society’s view of Hester. The scarlet letter’s initial role as an allegory of sin is projected onto Hester as a whole. The young people are taught to “look at her, with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast,—at her, the ... ... middle of paper ... ...its evolution as a symbol through time.