The Scarlet Letter Essay

The Scarlet Letter Essay

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"The Scarlet Letter" is a story that illustrates the lifestyle of Puritans in Massachusetts in 17th century. Nathaniel Hawthorne takes the theme of sin committed by Hester Prynne prior to her affair with Arthur Dimmesdale and shows how it affects the lives of the people involved. Convicted of adultery by Boston's Puritan leaders, she is forced to wear a bright red "A" as a symbol of adultery over her breast to represent her wrongdoing to the townspeople. As a result of this sin a child is born, named Pearl. Dimmesdale feels his guilt in the shared sin, but he is unable to reveal the truth. However, the society punishes him as well. The society in which he lived suggested him the moral values that become the law of his inner self. Having broken this law, his conscience makes a judge to a secret sinner. He deals then with his guilt by tormenting himself physically and psychologically, developing a heart disease as a result.

> As the novel develops, the reader can see the society's cruel attitude towards Hester and her sin. Even bearing a scarlet letter seems to be nothing in com...

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