In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne explores the relationship between the individual and society within a strict puritanical community. After committing adultery, Hester is stripped of her humanity and forced to wear an “A” for “adulterer” in order to appease the community. Her ignominy was lead by Dimmesdale, a minister for the community and later revealed to be the father of her daughter, Pearl. From the beginning of the novel, Hester maintains a commitment to her set of personal values. This is exhibited through her refusal to reveal Dimmesdale’s name, thriving outside the values of the community, and accepting the letter as a part of her identity.
Mahatma Gandhi, a civil rights activist, once stated, “I do not seek redemption for the consequences of my sin. I seek to be redeemed from sin itself. Until I have attained that end, I shall be content to be relentless.” Gandhi, similarly to Hawthorne, believed that sin had to be penanced and redeemed in order to learn from a misdeed, and hopefully, not to be repeated. Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, clearly integrated his opinion on sin through his writing.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is punished for committing the crime of adultery. Hester must wear the letter "A" upon her bosom to represent the adultery she has committed with Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. It is argued whether Hester is the culprit of her crime or if she has fallen victim of it. Early on in Hester 's life she becomes a victim when she is forced into an arranged marriage. Her parents arrange her to marry Roger Chillingworth, a wealthy yet infamous man.
A Life Undone By A Letter Hester’s character and personality are heavily scrutinized in D.H. Lawrence’s “ On The Scarlet Letter.” Lawrence’s unarguable acceptance of Puritan norms causes him to disagree with Hester’s characterization. In addition to his condescending remarks of Hester, he criticizes Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writing and character development. D.H. Lawrence uses biblical allusion, brief syntax, and a cynical tone to support his argument that Hester is the responsible one in the crime of adultery.
In both “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne and “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, there is an overarching motif of sin and the effects that sin has on the characters and the prose itself. Throughout both pieces of literature, the effects of sin are a large driving force that both progress and enhance the plot. In order to attain a deeper insight of the role of sin in both pieces of literature, it is necessary for the reader to not only look at the sins of the characters, but also look at the background and context of both prose, the treatment of the characters due to their sins, and the overall character development throughout the story. While the focal point of this essay will be to compare and contrast the role of sin in both prose, it is necessary to first look at the backgrounds and
Put your mind to the general welfare of the population of this town. If people were to move on from the unnecessarystress and anxiety that the "sinful" woman has caused, our town could achieve peace! Hence, it is imperative that the lady Hester's current punishment of strict jailtime be repealed and the consequences that the scarlet letter itself holds be our justice. In essence, it is important to look at both of the consequential punishments in question; from an outside perspective. The true matter of importance here is the people's welfare.
Adultery is a sin. The Puritan society of 17th century Colonial America believed that it was a sin grave enough to be punished by death. However, Hawthorne argues otherwise. He tries to convince his readers that adultery is more than a simple sin that has to be shown contempt. He argues that the adulterous relationship between Dimmesdale and Hester was a crime of passion and love, not lust and disloyalty.
How the Scarlet Letter Transforms Hester In The Scarlet Letter, when Hester is first brought out on the scaffold to by publically shamed for her ignominy, Arthur Dimmesdale pleads with her to name him as her fellow sinner so that he will not have to reveal himself when he exclaims, "Be not silent from any mistaken pity and tenderness for him; for, believe me, Hester, though he were to step down from a high place, and stand there beside thee, on thy pedestal of shame, yet better were it so, than to hide a guilty heart through life.” Hester refuses him and Dimmesdale goes unnamed and unpunished until the very end of the story. While Dimmesdale refuses to accept responsibility for his sin, Hester embraces the shame of the community. It is this difference which causes Dimmesdale enormous amounts of guilt and pain while Hester in able to find peace with herself and with her situation.
Guilt vs. Judgment in The Scarlet Letter In The Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne is judged by everyone in 17-century Boston, where everyone knows the crime that she has committed with her paramour Arthur Dimmesdale, who also is the town's Reverend. The townspeople are very harsh in their personal opinions of Hester. Some even go as far as to say that she should be branded by “the flesh of her forehead.” (Hawthorne 59)
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne explores recurring themes of suffering surrounding the main characters, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester and Dimmesdale both commit adultery with each other, and, as a result of this, both experience gruesome and occasionally unbearable forms of suffering. Though they undergo different forms of pain, both of their experiences are highly reliant on how the Puritan society treats them. Hester 's pain stems from the shame and estrangement she receives from the community, while Dimmesdale’s is due to the reverence with which the community regards him. Although, in spite of the fact that both Hester and Dimmesdale receive harsh penalty for their sin, by the end of the book, Hawthorne shows how their suffering is, in fact, the key to their salvation.