Scarlet Letter

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Scarlet Letter: Guilt Will Destroy
“Be true to yourself, and everyone else” This is the main point that the author of the “Scarlet Letter,” Nathaniel Hawthorne is trying to convey when he says “Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred! (200).” One can come back and learn from their mistakes, and their sin. In the novel, Hester Prynne and Reverend Dimmesdale both commit the same crime. The difference is that, everyday Hester shows her face and accepts her guilt, while, for seven years, Dimmesdale covered it up - which ultimately led to his demise. Everyone makes mistakes, but it is those that do not accept their wrongdoings that ultimately get punished. Hester was punished every day, excluded from society, and looked down upon, but in the end, she was respected. Reverend Dimmesdale, on the other hand, hid his guilt, and attempted to go on with his life without a punishment, and he ended up dying. Those who accept their faults will be more content than those who do not.

From the moment that Hester Prynne received the scarlet letter upon her breast, she had been the subject of public ridicule. Hester was shunned, and excluded from society “on the outskirts of the town, within the verge of the peninsula, but not in close vicinity to any other habitation (61),” called upon only when her handiwork was needed. For Seven years Hester was subjected to her daily punishment. There were many times when Hester thought she could no Jacobs 2

longer stand the burden of her sins, “She could no longer borrow from the future to ease her present grief,” be she continued anyway. Over time, she earned herself respect. That respect was earned either from her being a kind and selfless person, or from her courage, but, nonetheless, she earned herself respect.

Reverend Dimmesdale knew just as well as Hester did, that Pearl was his child. Reverend Dimmesdale sinned just as Hester did. He was seen as...
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