Two Faces In The Scarlet Letter

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The Role Faces Play in Society Throughout human nature, people do not tell strangers as many details about themselves as they would a family member. Nathaniel Hawthorne examines these faces throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter. People that wear two faces will cause immense guilt for themself and negative consequences to others. Hawthorne conveys through Dimmesdale that the effects of having two masks leads to immense guilt. At the beginning of the story, Hester Prynne was punished by being forced to wear the letter A for committing adultery. At this point, Dimmesdale was silent about his role in this sin. Hawthorne previews this future guilt by showing that in human nature, “... the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles…show more content…
Hester was forced to wear the scarlet A and “It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and enclosing her in a sphere by herself,” (Hawthorne 51). Hester feels extremely isolated and alone when she wears the scarlet letter, as she knows it was not solely her in this sin. Dimmesdale uses Hester’s suffering as a reason to not confess by seeing the negative effects it has on her. Hawthorne shows that this makes the pain even worse for Hester, as she is experiencing the punishment of this sin alone. This also forces her to become a single mother and raise Pearl alone. Hester cannot fulfil Pearl’s need for a father and tells her that she, “...must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give thee!” (Hawthorne 94). Pearl is negatively affected by Dimmesdale’s silence, as she will not grow up with a father. Hester is only one source of income, and Pearl could suffer from this. Dimmesdale puts and innocent child’s life under his need for status in society. Dimmesdale’s masks negatively affect Pearl and
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