Each character has there own problems. In Hester, Dimmesdale, and Pearl the sin of adultery and its consequences are seen. But, beyond that lies the sins of hypocrisy, pride, revenge, and passion. The three matters which dominate the thoughts and actions of the characters are sin, isolation, and reunion. Generally speaking, with Hawthorne isolation is the result of sin, and the desire for reunion is usually the result of isolation. But it is a mistake to suppose that any one of these things can be interpreted successfully in a general sense. No one of them is constant in meaning throughout the story.
There is, for example, no such thing as uniformity in the concept of sin. To assume this is to misinterpret the characters. Sin is the Scarlet Letter is a violation of only that which the sinner thinks he violates. To one character, adultery is going against Gods law, to another, no more than a violation of his own nature, to another it is going against the moral code of the community. To speak, therefore, even of adultery or hypocrisy is a violation of his own nature, to another, a sin against the moral code of the community.
"To speak, therefore, even of adultery or hypocrisy without discovering what they mean to each individual is to become hopelessly confused about what Hawthorne is doing.
Furthermore, as the nature of the sin differs, so must the...