Scarlet Letter

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, Nathaniel Hawthorne Pages: 3 (575 words) Published: January 27, 2014
Sin in The Scarlet Letter

Since the dawn of time people have read, studied and enjoyed books in

which the hero or heroes fall from grace. No matter who those heroes are-

the human race in The Bible,the demon prince Lestat in Anne Rice's "Vampire

Chronicles"or a certain Thane of Cawdor in "Macbeth"- sin plays a greatpart

in all of their downfalls and subsequent ressurections.And the three main

characters in Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"-Dimmesdale, Chillingsworth,

and Hester Prynne- are no different.

All three characters are flung from the normal rolesthat society has

laid upon them- minister, housewife, doctor-into new roles- sinner, whore,

and vengance crazed sadist.These new roles are not necessarily apparent to

all in town.However, even though the townspeople do not know of thesinners,

God does. And in God's eyes, whose sin was greater?That, I cannot answer.

But in this mere mortal's opinion, the sin of Chillingsworth far outdid the

sin of Dimmesdale or Hester Prynne, for Chillingsworth's sin was one of

revenge and one of secrecy. He was not driven by an anger at his own sin, but

by the sin of others. He used deception and manipulation to make the life of

another miserable. He was not flung from society's view as if he were a

dirty secret like Hester was; he was embraced by it. However, his sin

did take its toll. He was disfigured horribly and became a twisted man,

scarred by sin. He also was robbed of the pleasure of destroying Dimmesdale

which was his reason for living. He died shortly after Dimmesdale.

Hester Prynne, however, was the complete opposite of Chillingworth in

that her sin gave her life, not destroyed it. She took her punishment and

embraced it, using it to rebuild herself not as a pathetic sinner, but as a

pseudo-saint. At first, the town shunned her as a sinner. However, after

they saw that...
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