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Sin In Scarlet Letter

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Sin is a prevalent theme throughout Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter. The main character, Hester Pryne’s sin of adultery instigates the entire novel. The novel follows Hester’s journey in dealing with her sin in a strict Puritan town. Nathaniel Hawthorne provides an example of how someone’s sin can affect many individuals. Hester’s sin not only affects herself, but also affects many other characters including the Puritans, Roger Chillingworth, Arthur Dimmesdale and her daughter Pearl. Hester’s sin leads other characters to commit their own sins. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses The Scarlet Letter as clear testament to the effects of sin. The Puritans in Boston are painted as judgmental and intolerant people. Consequently, in the Puritan’s…show more content…
Hester adores her daughter; however, Pearl serves as a constant reminder of her sin. Between the scarlet letter and her own daughter, Hester is reminded daily of the evil she has done. Pearl is born as a result of sin, therefore, she is undoubtedly forced to deal with her mothers’ sinful decisions. Due to Hester’s adulterous sin, Pearl is born into the world as an outcast. The Puritans taunt her by saying, “Pearl was a born outcast of the infantile world. An imp of evil, emblem and product of sin, she had no right among christened infants” (Hawthorne 434). Pearl grows up with a single parental figure. Pearl “has to grow up alone, and her only playmate is nature” (Wayne). Hawthorne writes, “the great black forest-became the playmate of the lonely infant” (537). Hester and Dimmesdale’s passion-driven sin causes consequences that Pearl is inevitably faced to live with. Sin is a reoccurring and imperative theme in the Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne uses the theme of sin to weave the characters and the plot together. It is evident that Hester’s adulterous sin produces the plot in the remainder of the novel. Throughout the novel, Hawthorne displays the mental and physical affects of sin on individuals. Hester, Pearl, Chillingworth and Dimmesdale are all characters that are greatly affected by the adulterous sin committed by Hester and
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