Essay The Scarlett Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Essay The Scarlett Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The main idea of The Scarlett Letter is “sin and its impacts” on both individual and society which is demonstrated through its characters Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth. This main idea hailed from the author’s deep rooted puritanism. Hawthorne illustrated different levels of his main idea through his three characters. Each of the main characters are guilty of one kind of sin such as sin of adultery (Hester Prynne), sin of hypocrisy (Arthur Dimmesdale) and sin of vengeance (Roger Chillingworth).

In this novel, the main character Hester Prynne has been punished for her sin of adultery. Nathaniel Hawthorne insists that all of us are sinners as per the strict puritan principles but some are punished severely. A main question among the readers is why this young woman alone punished harshly for a moral wrong doing. He states in The Scarlet Letter "In the view of Infinite Purity, we are sinners all alike." Hester Prynne was a young women living in the “New World”, a village in the Puritan community. Her husband Roger Chillingworth was believed to be lost at the sea and died. Hester as a young widow committed a crime of adultery with her fellow Minister Arthur Dimmesdale which resulted in the birth of her daughter Pearl. When the “New World” people became aware of her sins she was punished with imprisonment and they made her wear the scarlet letter “A” for her adultery as a punishment. Throughout the novel, Hawthorne feels. Hester was also asked to wear the letter always which received scornful look and made her feel rejected. The irony was Arthur Dimmesdale, the minister of the church her partner in adultery was questioning her along with Reverend John Wilson but she refused to name her lover.

Although fo...


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...trical problem, instead of human passions, and wrongs inflicted on itself."

These intentions of vengeance and his actions of revenge made Chillingworth the greatest sinner. He disrupts Dimmesdale 's feeling and soul to see how he will react. Hawthorne portrays him as a character with no human compassion. Finally when Hester discussed with him about whether Dimmesdale 's has paid his debt meaning if his vengeance was over he denied. Chillingworth declares that it he would have rather died than suffer seven years of vengeance. The overpowering hatred and vengeance felt by Chillingworth caused his life to be concentrated on actions of demeaning Dimmesdale and upsetting him until the end of time. Hester and Dimmesdale committed sins for which they were profoundly regretful and guilty. However, Chillingworth committed the greatest sin of all because he was not guilty.

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