In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne’s sin of adultery causes her to be shut out from her community, but instead of being left guilty and sorrowful, she finds strength and a new sense of self. After Hester emerges from the dungeon holding her child in her arms, her breast is adorned with a scarlet letter “A”, for “adulterer”. Regarding her status in her community, Hawthorne states, “Thus the young and pure would be taught to look at her, with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast,—at her, the child of honorable parents,—at her, the mother of a babe, that would hereafter be a woman, —at her, who had once been innocent, —as the figure, the body, the reality of sin” (66-67). Hester’s adultery causes her to becomes a “living sermon against sin” (54), in the eyes of the Puritans. She is rejected from society both physically, being forced to live on the outskirts of town, and emotionally, as she feels like an outcast, no longer welcome in society. Nevertheless, ...
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... for living to carry out his revenge. Chillingworth has reached the point that his very existence depends on Dimmesdale, and when Dimmesdale dies Hawthorne describes his downfall, ¨All his strength and energy—all his vital and intellectual force—seemed at once to desert him; insomuch that he positively withered up, shrivelled away, and almost vanished from mortal sight, like an uprooted weed that lies wilting in the sun¨ (212). When Dimmesdale goes on the scaffold to confess his sins, Chillingworth tries to stop him because he knows that the minister is about leave him and without his ability to torture him, Chillingworth would cease to exist. In the end, Chillingworth becomes so consumed with the sin of revenge he essentially becomes the devil, the true embodiment of evil, and is unable to live once he no longer has anyone to inflict his villainous revenge upon.
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