Sin In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

980 Words4 Pages

In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, sin is a common theme throughout the novel. In the seventeenth century, Hawthorne sets the novel in this time period to show how radical Puritans were when a person commits a crime. In Puritan times, adultery was a very serious crime that a person can be sentenced to death. The Scarlet Letter features three characters that have sinned. Those characters are Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth. Hester’s sin is adultery, Dimmesdale’s sin is also adultery, and Chillingworth’s sin is marrying a young girl that does not reciprocate his feelings, but they all deal with their sin differently. Hester accepts that she has done wrong, and she wears the scarlet letter with pride. Dimmesdale holds in his sin, meaning he does not want to recognize his sin, which leads to the truth affecting his health negatively. Chillingworth deals with his sin by taking revenge on Dimmesdale who took Hester away from him. Multiple sins are dealt in multiple ways.
In the beginning of the novel, Hester Prynne is shown leaving the prison carrying her daughter with a crowd of Puritan women shaming her. Hester commits adultery, but instead of receiving the death sentence, she was given a scarlet letter to wear every day while on the scaffold. The scarlet letter is a symbol of her …show more content…

He commits adultery with Hester, but in contrast to her, he does not want to fully acknowledge his sin. Hester publicly confessed to her sin while Dimmesdale does not fully admit to his sin. By withholding in his sin, his health deteriorates. His health worsens and worsens as he continues to withhold his sin. Because of his guilt, Dimmesdale punishes himself, like whipping and starving. He does that because of his extremely religious background as a minister. In The Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale wants other people to know how horrible of a person he is for not confessing his

Open Document