Tharsan Thanapathy Mr. Devereux ENG2D0 18 October 2015 Guilt: A Feeling or Conscience Guilt is part of our conscience, and since humans do not have the technology or knowledge to communicate with it, there is no true understanding of what is right or wrong. Therefore humans go on with our lives without any true understanding of the feelings of guilt. Every day people end up doing actions that they know is wrong and they may not feel bad about it, for example when you lie to get away with something. There is a variety of reasons why one would do this for, one may think they are doing the right thing by saying or doing it, they might lie to someone, or one might even be abiding the law or rules even though they know it is wrong. The law and
Macbeth vs. Mean Girls The word guilt can be defined as a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that a person themselves have done something bad or wrong. Whether it is an older time period or present day, in all medias of life today the impact of guilt is seen. For example, The tragedy of Macbeth is a short play that was written in 1606 by Shakespeare specifically for King James I.
In the book “The Things They Carried” two stories show that shame is a strong feeling that human beings experienced and can make humans do things that they wouldn’t do. In the story "On The Rainy River '' By Tim O’Brien the example below shows what the feeling of shame can do mentally to a person “my conscience told me to run, but some irrational and powerful force was resisting, like a weight pushing me toward the war. What it came down to, stupidly, was a sense of shame.
Out of all the emotions humans experience, guilt is one of the least pleasant. Nearly everyone has experienced it in some way or form. Often times, it is because of minor mistakes like forgetting to take out the trash. Other times it can be more serious such as seriously injuring a friend or family member. Either way, that guilt gnaws at one’s inside, chipping away at their sanity bit by bit.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines guilt as “the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law” (Merriam-Webster). In the novel Fifth Business by Robert Davies, he explores the topic of guilt. Published in 1970 (Goodreads), the book goes into detail of a man’s life story and how he finds the deeper meaning of life. One of the main messages of this novel is that a person’s life is dependent on how they make decisions and how they deal with the consequences of it. This message is shown in the novel through the character’s journey to search for the truth.
Because she came from a Puritan society, her punishment was especially harsh, but the shame that came as a result of her sin was even harsher. The whispers that she heard when walking through the town enveloped her, and reminded her of her adultery sin. However, by showing the townspeople her work ethic, and her powerful aura, she went from a woman of shame, to a woman of integrity and holiness. She was accepted, to the point where the villagers were able to completely change the perspective that they had about her. Not only did she change but so did the Scarlet letter, it went form meaning sin to “ Able, so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength.”
Guilt is an emotion that comes from believing one was responsible for a particular mistake whether the assessment was accurate or not. (Powell)It can be described as “a bothered conscience” or “a feeling of culpability for offences”. One feels guilty when there is a feeling of responsibility for an action one regrets. (Barker, Guilt and Shame).A wrongdoer must deal with guilt by making atonement- by making reparation and penance. How a person deals with guilt long term is what really affects their future.
Wherever Hester goes, people will know who she is, and what she had done. Hester's punishment was unjust because Hester was sent to prison for committing adultery. Hester was sentenced to wear the scarlet letter "A" for the rest of her life and Hester was forced to stand on the scaffold, so she could be publicly humiliated for her sin. Although,
Hester freed herself from sin by removing The Scarlet Letter and realizing she loves Dimmesdale, with this she asks for his forgiveness and confesses. “Let God punish! Thou shalt forgive!”(pg.118) Hester did a good deed when she kept Dimmesdale’s identity a secret. “I deem it not likely that he will betray the secret.
The townspeople “[began] to look upon the scarlet letter as a token, not of that one sin, for which she had borne so long and dreary a penance, but of her many good deeds since.” This quote exemplifies how sin is not a death sentence for Hester. Through hard work and charity it allowed the rigid Puritan society to see her as something different, and as someone who would not let society define who she was. Hester, thus, was not only able to change herself, but also the image in which society viewed her by working hard to benefit the public. Likewise, the scarlet letter which was supposed to represent sin was instead “fantastically embroidered with gold thread, upon her bosom.”
She realized that everyone will eventually find out about the sin, so she became courageous and took responsibility for her action. After she had completed her punishment in prison, she moved to a cottage. Hester was guilty for what she had done, but she started to help the poor, even though they rejected her. The guilt deprived her from all the “joys [of life] [because] she rejected it as sin” (Hawthorne 130) Hester ceased enjoying anything that a normal person would think as amusing because it was wrong for her since she became the outcast of the town.
The authors states that the mainstream emotional researches have distinguished between Guilt and shame. This model argues that both the emotions differ in the origin of transgression. Authors argues that when people attribute their transgressions to their global and stable self, the y experience shame but when people attribute their transgressions to transient actions they experience guilt. Thus shame is often viewed as more devastating to people’s self-concepts and self-esteem than guilt. Some scholars argue that shame typically involves being negatively evaluated by others and guilt involves being negatively evaluated by oneself.
Hester Prynne is punished by being put on the scaffold and receiving the scarlet letter “A” and also by being put into jail. Throughout her punishments, Hester somehow finds a way to stay kind to others and remain her genuine self. “She offered up a real sacrifice of enjoyment, in devoting so many hours to such rude handiwork.” (77). This quote represents how Hester is kind to the poor and uses her skill in needlework to sew clothes and garments for the needy.