Pride And Redemption In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Imagine living in a society, where every aspect of life is based upon your religion. The way you act, the way you treat others, even the way you spend your days are all based upon God’s word and acting out against these morals results in severe consequences. Imagine living in a society where you are forced to live in constant fear, as even the slightest mistake may send you into a downward spiral of fiery ignominy and agonizing guilt. You spend every precious moment tiptoeing through life, as if you are walking on broken glass, in order to avoid the wrath from your vehement neighbors. Imagine living in a society where the people claim to believe in God’s gift of everlasting salvation and redemption, yet are the first to castigate those who…show more content…
During the year 1850, author Nathaniel Hawthorne published The Scarlet Letter, which expounds upon those people that lived in a puritanical society, yet willingly disobeyed their morals. Hawthorne depicted this real life situation through a secret affair between Reverend Dimmesdale and a married woman, Hester Prynne. Both characters chose to fulfill their lustful desires over remaining faithful to their religion, which led them to undergo life-altering personality changes. Through the creation of Dimmesdale and Hester, Nathaniel Hawthorne was able to use The Scarlet Letter to explicate the people who daringly rebelled against their religious probity and, as a result, drastically altered their lives and personalities. Reverend Dimmesdale, one of the main characters and one of the most notable priests in The Scarlet Letter, suffered from devastating life and personality changes because of his decision to rebel against one of the most prominent Puritan morals regarding faithful relationships. By selfishly choosing…show more content…
By choosing to have an affair even though she was married, Hester created a life for herself that was filled with “guilt, sinkings of heart, and misfortune” because of her choice to disobey her religious morals (Hawthorne 150). Although she was extremely embarrassed of her actions, believing that she was even unworthy of death, Hester forced herself to live beyond her tragic situation and use it to grow as a person and strengthen her view on standing against the Puritan probity that the town was based upon. In order to punish her, the town forced Hester to wear a scarlet “A” upon her breast, which was meant to represent a “badge of shame” (Hawthorne 150). Through the scarlet hue of the “A”, as well as it being located above Hester’s heart, Hawthorne was able to reference the symbol of a heart that he consistently used throughout the book to describe her mentality. At this point in Hester’s life, the ignominious letter upon her breast symbolized “drops of bitterness” and guilt beginning to fill her heart. Eventually though Hester forgave herself for her sins, ultimately allowing herself to become confident and independent. For the next seven years, Hester allowed her heart to be filled with bliss and triumph, as she lived a life free from the Puritan probity of her society. This new life was fueled by her
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