Effects of Sin in the Scarlet Letter

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Unfortunately sin can often lead to isolation. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne, a beautiful young woman who is chastised for adultery, and Arthur Dimmesdale, Boston’s beloved minister who is the father of Hester’s baby, both begin doleful lives of isolation after Hester’s sin is revealed. After Hester is sent to Boston by her husband, who says he will shortly join her, she has an affair with the town’s preacher, Arthur Dimmesdale, which results in a daughter, Pearl. Condemned for her sin of adultery by the austere Puritan government, Hester is forced to wear a scarlet letter A on her dress at all times as a punishment for her crime. Though Hester Prynne is a beautiful, graceful woman who is involved in the community, she begins a secluded life of isolation after she is punished for her crime of adultery. Serving as a visible sign of her crime, the scarlet letter A isolates Hester from her community. In addition, Hester encounters isolation when she is required to move to a dreary cabin on the outskirts of town. Furthermore, Hester is isolated from her one true love, Arthur Dimmesdale, when her husband, who goes by the alias Rodger Chillingworth, finally comes to Boston. On the other hand, Arthur Dimmesdale, who is an insouciant, healthy minister before his sin with Hester is punished, becomes paranoid, sickly, and isolated from the people of Boston as his guilt begins to overwhelm him. By neglecting to openly tell anyone about his sin with Hester, Dimmesdale isolates himself from the people. He also isolates himself, this time from Hester, when he allows Chillingworth to move in with him to treat his illness. And he is isolated every time the people of Boston praise his as a marvelous preacher when he knows he is not worthy of such veneration.

Although Hester Prynne is a pulchritudinous, statuesque woman who is an active participant in the community, she begins a lonely life of solitude after she is punished...
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