Consequences And Remedies Of Din In The Scarlet Le Essay

This essay has a total of 1611 words and 7 pages.

Consequences And Remedies Of Din In The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter shows many types of sin. Some is only sin in the Puritan eye, some is
internally blamed sin and some is sin only defined back in the time period of
pre-Romanticism. Three main characters; Hester Prynne, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and
Roger Chillingworth are the 'sinners' of the Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.
Nathaniel Hawthorn gives each one very different a consequence and remedy for each ones
sin. Hester is publicly punished right away, Dimmesdale has to dwell on his sin for years
and Chillingworth is punished abruptly when his sin comes to an end. Each punishment is
different and holds its own lesson.

Hester was forced into the marriage of a man she did not love, and after being separated
for a long amount of time, she became attracted to another man. She then falls into a
spell of passion with Reverend Dimmesdale. She then becomes pregnant with Dimmesdale's
baby, obviously revealing her 'sin'. She is sent to the Scaffold to be mocked by all and
is forced to reveal the father of the child. She refuses and then for her sins, received a
scarlet letter, "A" which she had to wear upon her chest for the rest of her life in
Boston. She wondered the streets and was given bitter looks from all. This was the Puritan
way of punishing her for her then criminal action of adultery.

The Scarlet Letter on her bosom does the exact opposite of that which it was meant for.
Eventually, Hester upsets all the odds against here due to her courage, pride and effort.
Hester goes beyond the letter of the law and does everything asked of her in order to
prove that she is "able"(158).

Hester, even though she was more appreciated by the Puritans, she still was not respected
and her life was never the same. This eventually caused so much mental and physical
anguish that she eventually questioned why she should live if it weren't for her Pearl.
Pearl was a bundle of life sent from god to remind her of her wrong doing each and every
moment and as a walking sermon to preach against sin for others. The symbolic Pearl helped
Hester overcome her guilt.

Hester becomes a highly respected person in a Puritan society by overcoming one of the
harshest punishments, the scarlet letter. After Dimmesdale's passing away, she remains in
the small Boston town as payment of her sin and more importantly as an example to other
future women of the town. Hester endures her punishment without a word against it, and
grows from it, making her stronger and a woman to be admired from her puritan
counterparts, and women today.

While Hester tries to make the best out of her situation, Dimmesdale becomes weaker by
letting guilt and grief eat away at his conscience, reducing him to a shriveling, pathetic
creature. Since Dimmesdale is a devote Puritan, he cannot accept the loss of innocence and
go on from there. He must struggle unsuccessfully to get back to where he was. Dimmesdale
punishes himself by believing that he can never be redeemed. He feels that he will never
be seen the same in the eyes of God, and that no amount of penitence can ever return him
to God's good graces.

He is so touchy on this subject that when Hester says his good deeds will count for
something in God's view, he exclaims, "There is no substance in it! It is cold and dead
and can do nothing for me!" (202). The Reverend seems to want to reveal himself, at times
he realizes his double standards and comes to the verge of confession, only to goes back
to vague proclamations of guilt. But Chillingworth's influence and his own shame are
stronger than his weak conscience. Dimmesdale cannot let go of his untarnished identity
that brings him the love and admiration of his congregation. He is far too engaged on his
everyday image to willingly reveal his sin. This inability to confess causes Dimmesdale
great anguish and self-hatred. At one point he lashes himself with a whip, and at the end
of the book we find that he has inscribed the letter "A" into his own chest. Dimmesdale
also believes that his sin has taken the meaning out of his life. His life's work has been
dedicated to God, and now his sin has tainted it. He feels that he is a fraud and is not
fit to lead the people of the town to salvation. The feeling is so unforgiving that the
chance of escaping his work and leaving with Hester and Pearl makes him emotionally (and
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