Redemption In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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What is redemption? Redemption is the act of being saved or freed from sin. This is an important part of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.” Redemption was what the characters in the book were seeking, and was the reason for many of their actions. Because of the time period and the fact the people were Puritans, sins were not tolerated nor common, so when they happened they were a huge deal. Puritans felt redemption could not be achieved because the sins were so wrong and so evil. Hawthorne used redemption to help develop the characters and the ideas the reader had on them. The whole book happened because of a sin that occurred, and that sin was the cause of many actions of the characters. Throughout “The Scarlet Letter,” Hawthorne…show more content…
“Was that Scarlet Letter, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom.”(Hawthorne 51). Because Puritans were so against Hester’s sin, they made her wear an “A” on her chest that stands for adultery. The townspeople wanted everyone who sees her know what she did so that she would be humiliated by it for the rest of her life. Hester was basically rejected by the town, and was scorned by the people everyday. The “A” made people overlook who she really was. “She was self-ordained a Sister of Mercy… The letter was a symbol of her calling. Such helpfulness was found in her… that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able.”(Hawthorne 146). Even with all the mocking and ridicule that was put on her, she still had the strength to push through it and carry on with her life. She raised her daughter, Pearl, through it all; she provided for money for them. She even gave to the poor. People began to realize that there was more to Hester Prynne than just the letter. They started to see who she really was; and because of that wanted the “A” to stand for something better. They wanted it to stand for able because it showed her strength. All of the good that Hester did showed people that she is so much more than just a sinner. She achieved her redemption, and the town realized who she really…show more content…
Hester Prynne reached redemption by doing good deeds and making people see past her sin and see who she really is. Arthur Dimmesdale did not achieve redemption because he spent too much time worrying about his reputation. Thus, leading to it being too late for him because of his death. Roger Chillingworth finally redeemed himself after his death when he left Pearl his inheritance. It was something that no one saw coming, because Pearl was the spawn of sin and Chillingworth was seen as the devil. It was unexpected, but Chillingworth might have finally realized that he needed to make up for all the bad he has done. Redemption could have been gained by any of the characters, but their choices are what shows who they are. The characters were developed by the redemption of each of
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