Shame In The Scarlet Letter

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Shame Is Lame What is guilt? Every human being has experienced some form of guilt, whether that be forgetting something, lying, or even doing something that is known to go against what is “right.” Guilt is defined as, “recognizing that one of your actions was wrong and may have caused someone else harm. Guilt is feeling sorry for something you did” (Difference Between, p. 1). While guilt may be a good emotion to experience at first, the emotion can lead to shame. Shame differs from guilt by being “an emotion that eats away at your self esteem, and causes one to think of themselves as being intrinsically bad” (p. 1). These two emotions are portrayed in The Scarlet Letter. Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, we see guilt and shame build up in the…show more content…
With no way to cover her sin, Hester accepts who she is as a person, and lets everyone know that she has no intention of hiding her deed. Hester dealt with her guilt by helping others and being productive. She gave away her things to the needy and sewed clothes for the people who accused her. From the very beginning, Hester seems to be a changed woman who recognized her wrong doings. "And never had Hester Prynne appeared more lady-like, in the antique interpretation of the term, than as she issued from the prison. Those who had before known her, and had expected to behold her dimmed and obscured by a disastrous cloud, were astonished, and even startled, to perceive how her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the misfortune and ignominy in which she was enveloped" (Ch. 2). This shows that Hester never attempted to hide her sin, and the description of her sin demonstrates an act of forgiveness. Hester even embroidered the very thing that was supposed to mark her shame. “But the point which drew all eyes, and, as it were, transfigured the wearer,--so that both men and women, who had been familiarly acquainted with Hester Prynne, were now impressed as if they beheld her for the first time,--was that SCARLET LETTER,
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