Sin In Nathaniel Hawthorne's A Chapter From An Abortive Romance

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There are a limited amount of things on this earth that are inevitable obstacles and one of those is sin. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote an interesting story called “A Chapter from an Abortive Romance,” that sin plays a significant role in. In this story, the main character, Ethan Brand, was a lime burner that recently returned to his home city from a quest to find the unpardonable sin. (The word “unpardonable” suggests that one commits a sin that is so despicable that this sin is unforgivable by God.) There is no clear interpretation of the theme or message of this story but after closely reading it, one might suggest that there is a high correlation between sin and the kiln that was used to burn the marble to create the lime. Toward the beginning of the story, Hawthorne describes how Birtran and his son (two…show more content…
But on its surface, in the midst of the circle—snow-white too thoroughly converted into lime—lay a human skeleton in the attitude of a person who, after long toil, lies down to long repose. Within the ribs—strange to say—was the shape of a human heart.”(pg. 12). This twist to the story suggests that Ethan Brand’s heart was stone cold and made of marble. There is a link between the marble heart of Brand and his pursuit of the Unpardonable Sin. Hawthorne is confirming the fact that Ethan Brand has indeed found the Unpardonable sin and his heart being as hard as stone supports this idea. One thing is for sure and that is Brand’s heart turned to stone when he committed the Unpardonable sin. This unpardonable sin seemed to be when Brand took his own life when he jumped into the kiln. What Hawthorne also could be pointing to is that the Unpardonable sin may just be Ethan Brand’s omnipresent belief that his soul was damned all along and couldn’t be saved - all the while in pursuit of something he already
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