Love is an emotion that has been the known root of many conflicts, but it is also an action that has produced many wondrous things. The concept of love in Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, The Scarlet Letter, is no different. At times, it generates animosity, yet, at other times, it evokes a sense of oneness. Love, as both an action, and an emotion, serves as a catalyst that elicits sinful acts, the uptaking of responsibility, as well as drives sacrifice. Love, in the form of an emotion, can be a powerful, driving force, in one’s decision making. By acting on this emotion, and expressing love as a physical action, the concept of sin emerges. Sin is defined as the transgression of divine law, and in Hawthorne’s novel, the principle sin caused by …show more content…
All actions are known to have reactions, thus, there must be repercussions when one sins. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester must take responsibility for her sins. One way Hester is responsible for her sin is through the task of raising Pearl. Hawthorne outlines this in saying, “[Pearl] was the scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed with life… But, in truth, Pearl was the one, as well as the other; and only in consequence of that identity had Hester contrived so perfectly to represent the scarlet letter in her appearance.”(VII, 84) Pearl is being likened to the symbol of Hester’s scarlet letter because she is a constant reminder of the sin, as is the letter. In both ways, through the letter, and the child, Hester is forced to face the responsibility that came with her sin. Another way that Hester must take responsibility for her sin has to do with Dimmesdale. Because they committed the sin together, they are eternally linked, illustrated by this quote, “...Hester saw—or seemed to see—that there lay a responsibility upon her, in reference to the clergyman, which she owed to no other, nor to the whole world besides. The links that united her to the rest of human kind—links of flowers, or silk, or gold, or whatever the material—had all been broken. Here was the iron link of mutual crime, which neither he nor she could break. Like all other ties, it brought with it its obligations…”(XIII, 132) In all that occurs, whether directly related to their act of passion or not, Hester and Dimmesdale have a bond, and that will always be a way in which Hester is responsible in the aftermath of the actions. Because there is an influence of sin, acts of responsibility must be taken as a
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Dimmesdale is described as a persuasive speaker and exhibits his power to do so, as he sways the magistrates and Governor Billingham to change their mind. Dimmesdale is able to do so by in cooperating puritan ideals and prove how Hester’s parenting is sufficient. Dimmesdale uses religion to his advantage, first by stating that God bestowed Pearl to Hester, then explains why Hester chose to tell Pearl- her birth was a religious “Burden”. (Hester told pearl that she has no knowledge of an earthly father and instead a heavenly one – As Pearl is a Living “A” or a scarlet letter). Dimmesdale continues to use this as a reason for the community an example of sins and its affects.
Symbolism Within The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne created symbolism throughout The Scarlet Letter in order to develop the theme throughout Hester’s life. Hester is portrayed as a sheltered soul, shunned from society due to her adulterous acts. The red A and her daughter, Pearl, are symbols of Hester’s shame which she bares proudly despite society's harsh judgements. Hawthorne is able to use symbolism to develop themes, characters, and analogies in the Scarlet Letter.
Pearl is the living embodiment of of the scarlet letter. Pearl constantly reminds Hester of her sins, without meaning to. Whenever she asks questions about Dimmesdale or about the scarlet letter, Hester is reminded of the things she did wrong. Pearl is very smart child, and she likes to ask questions and learn about things. If she sees something that confuses her, she will ask her mother about it.
He found his true self that eventually led to him confessing his sin. In the Puritan way of life, confessing a sin creates high-risk because the repercussions could consist of harsh punishment. Therefore, it took a lot for Hester and Dimmesdale to confess their sin of adultery. The sin they committed produced serious turmoil for them, but they both figured out how to deal with it.
Throughout the passage from The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses Hester’s baby, Pearl, to illuminate the theme of beauty in a dark place. Once released from prison, Hester, an adulterer, becomes a public spectacle. Through this hard time, Hester has her daughter Pearl to soothe her and to bring her strength and hope for a better future. By using vivid imagery and juxtaposition, Hawthorne depicts Pearl as Hester’s happiness, light, and beauty during a sad and lonely time. While in Prison, Hester is all alone and depressed.
“The first and greatest punishment of a sinner is the conscience of sin”, is believed a Roman statesman Lucius Annaeus Seneca. Sin is an immoral, evil act, but it is in human nature to sin. However, one can be delivered from sin through redemption and be saved from evil. This theme of sin and redemption is evident throughout the novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
She receives three punishments from the townspeople, who claim they will free her from her sin. The community orders Hester to go to jail, wear a scarlet letter on her chest, and stand on the town scaffold for hours. Hester wears her scarlet letter proudly on her chest, and endures much suffering because of her public ridicule. Hester is “kept by no restrictive clause of her condemnation within the limits of the Puritan settlement” after she was released from prison, but she chooses to stay (Hawthorne 71). Later, Hester’s child, Pearl, symbolizes the Puritan view of Hester.
The Scarlet Letter is a story that signifies the treachery behind the sin of adultery. Arthur Dimmesdale plays a key part in the book, since he is guilty of the sin himself. Dimmesdale is seen in the first scaffold scene, looking as pale as death, for he is aware of his sin, but is too cowardly to confess and share the public ridicule with Hester. A few years pass and in the second scaffold scene, Dimmesdale is more reluctant to confess his guilty thoughts, but he merely gives himself a private confession still too guilty to come clean. However, several days after, Dimmesdale greets the crowd of people, witnesses in the third scaffold scene, with his confession for being the reason Pearl, Hester's daughter, exists.
Both The Scarlet Letter and Their Eyes Were Watching God acknowledge the complexity of love, showing it not only to serve as a source of happiness but as a source of suffering as well. From early on in Janie’s life in Their Eyes Were Watching God, Neale Hurston
The Consequences of Sin Sin is defined as “an offense against religious or moral law”. The idea of sin and being ostracized for your sins was extremely relevant during the Puritan period when religion was the greatest component of daily life. The Puritans believed that they had entered a covenant with God and therefore any sin, such as crime and adultery were considered a breach of their covenant with God. This view led to the church punishing people who committed sin in order for God not to punish the church as a whole. The consequences and effects of sin is shown through the character development in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter.
Effect of Sin and the Chance of Redemption Sin is a powerful action that has an everlasting consequence of guilt. Once done, the person wants to forget about his felonious actions; however, hopefully a person’s conscience is a constant, nagging reminder. In order to be free of the constant pain, redemption is pursued for even the person who sinned in public or private. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne proves that the truth of sin eventually need to be confronted in order for a person to stop suffering.
Hester Prynne was an example of sin, guilt, and redemption. Hawthorne uses bible passages as examples. The consequences for our sins are determined by God and where we will go. Hester’s punishment is wearing the letter, ‘A’ on her breast. " God, as a direct consequence of the sin which man thus punished, had given her a lovely child, whose place was on that same dishonoured bosom, to connect her parent for ever with the race and descent of mortals, and to be finally a blessed soul in heaven!"- (pg 55).
The hardships and punishments of both Hester and Dimmesdale, while difficult to endure at the time, were eventually beneficial and allowed them to free themselves from the Puritan community and escape their pain. Hester, throughout the beginning and middle of the book, is forced to face alienation and humiliation from her town, though by the end of the book, she is able to use her punishment to set her free from her society. First, Hester reflects on the effect of her sin, and realizes, “ . . . the torture of her daily shame would at length purge her soul . . .” (72).
Bhimani 1 Outline Prescribed Question: How does the text conform to, or deviate from, the conventions of a particular genre, and for what purpose? Text: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Thesis: In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne effectively conforms to the conventions of the gothic genre for the purpose of characterizing the Puritan society as oppressive, portraying the hypocrisy found within Puritan society and highlighting the consequences for not confessing sin.
Before we dive right into the heart of this passage, let us first know what we are dealing with. Obviously, love is the topic, but what is love? Why did I choose it? There must be something special about love, right? I’ll show you what I think