Analysis Of Scarlet Letter

This essay has a total of 734 words and 4 pages.

Analysis Of Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter is a novel that deals with the never-ending
theme of sin. Throughout history, people have committed all
types of sins, and whether they are major or minor, people
have been punished. However, the severity of a punishment
is very difficult to agree on. Some people feel that sinners
should be deeply punished no matter how little the
wrongdoing was. 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. If we all have once committed a moral
wrongdoing, why is this young woman so harshly punished
for her sin? Hester Prynne was a young woman living in a
Puritan community in the "New World." Her husband, Roger
Chillingworth was said to be lost at sea, and Hester assumed
his death. Upon this basis, young Hester committed a crime
of adultery with her fellow Minister Arthur Dimmesdale. The
result of this extra marital affair was the birth of young Pearl,
an "elf-like" child. When the townspeople become aware of
what Hester has done, they forced her to wear an ultimate
sign of punishment, the scarlet letter. This letter "A" for
adultery had to be worn on Hester's bosom at all times.
However, Roger Chillingworth returns from sea and now
seeks revenge on Hester's lover. When one analyzes the
punishment inflicted upon her, it may seem harsh and cruel,
especially for a Puritan society. It seems that Hawthorne
agrees with this as well. Throughout the novel, it seems
apparent that Hawthorne feels that the punishment Hester
received was harsh and self-degrading. When one commits a
sin, they should understand their mistake, receive their
blame, and receive a "slap on the wrist." However, the
punishment Hester received was far worse emotionally.
Wearing the letter made Hester the talk-about of the town.
When she walked through the marketplace, she received
scornful looks, as if society was rejecting her for her
wrongdoing. Hester was now living on the outskirts of town,
isolated from neighbors and trying to communicate with her
daughter Pearl. After many years of being swept out of
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