Scarlet Letter essay - Guilt

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne Pages: 2 (698 words) Published: March 16, 2014

The Scarlet Letter – Guilt
We would love to live in a world where all of us are perfect but the reality is that we are not perfect. All of us make mistakes or do something wrong but some of us are never caught, then that few have a choice to make; either to turn themselves in or live their life as if it never happened. The emotion one has when one either commits an act not accepted by the society or when he fails to do something required or expected is called Guilt. This emotion can be seen quite a lot in the book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne where all 3 of the main characters, Arthur Dimmesdale, Hester Prynne and Roger Chillingworth are guilty of doing something that was not accepted by their Puritan society. We can see the guilt fester in the mind and outward appearance of these characters.  If one hides his guilt within himself than that can lead to drastic circumstances; the more one tries to hide his guilt, the more it tends to grow and slowly it reaches a point where it overpowers the person which often leads to confession or death of the person. The guilt of abandoning Hester, the harboring of the secret that he is the father of Pearl, and the thought of him having committed adultery wore down on Dimmesdale almost like an everlasting punishment that soon after led to his death. Arthur Dimmesdale is a minister, a father, a sinner and a man who feels incredible guilt. He commits adultery with Hester before the book begins. As the book begins it is revealed he is the true father of Hester's child Pearl. Dimmesdale, afraid of losing his status and being humiliated, does not confess his crime. For this this he is rewarded and greatly punished. He is rewarded by keeping his status in the community. However, he also has something he doesn't want, his conscience. Most people would leave town because they would be sorry for what they did but happy because they got a chance to start a new life. Not Dimmesdale, not Reverend...
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