Chronic Conscience In Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter'

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Katerina Kilgore Mrs. Gardner AP English 10 March 2017 “Chronic remorse…is a most undesirable sentiment” “Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean” (Huxley). This quote can be perceived is many ways, however, there is one theme that tends to stand out. This theme is that one person should not let an immoral action dictate their life; they must accept it and leave the action in the past. In the book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hawthorne demonstrates this theme with Hester’s…show more content…
Hester committed a sin of adultery with Reverend Dimmesdale, as punishment, Hester was required to wear a scarlet colored “A” on her chest for the rest of her life, unless the letter fell off, meaning God forgave her sin. Feeling embarrassed and ashamed, Hester took pearl and herself and moved to the outskirts of the town where she was looked down upon by everybody. Yet Hester didn’t mourn in her cottage like the townsfolks expected her to, she instead accepted her sin and tried to make the best from it. For example, Hawthorne states, “She possessed an art…It was the art-then, as now, almost the only one within a woman’s grasp-of needle-work” (Hawthorne 77). Hester utilized her skill of embroidery to help her and Pearl survive. Hester also used it a way to recover from her sin and attempt to be accepted normally back into society. As Hester progressed throughout the book, she developed into a strong minded person as a result of her learning from her sin. “The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers,-stern and wild ones,-and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.” (Hawthorne 190). Hester decided to face her sin, and since then has been able to build her character and mature into a better role model for Pearl. She isn’t beating herself up over her sin, but is accepting it and improving from it, therefor justifying Huxley’s
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