Scarlet Letter Sin

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne Pages: 4 (761 words) Published: March 14, 2017


How does sin affect different people? Nathaniel Hawthorne tackles this question in his mid nineteenth century psychological novel, The Scarlet Letter. The Scarlet Letter follows Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale as they deal with their sin of passion. Hester is forced to be open about her sin because of her child, Pearl, but Dimmesdale keeps his a secret, and pays the price for it. Hester’s husband, whom she cheated on, uses his anger to torture Dimmesdale psychologically, and in the end the effect of the sin actually kills Dimmesdale. In The Scarlet Letter sin affects different characters in different ways both mentally and psychologically.
Hester Prynne is forced to show her sin to the world in two different ways. She is condemned to...

During the first scene he asks Hester to tell him who Pearl’s father was, and when she refuses he becomes angry and vows to find and destroy that man. When he finds out that it is Dimmesdale, who is unaware of Chillingworth’s true identity, he moves in with him and begins psychologically torturing the minister about his sin. Once Hester finally told Dimmesdale of his true identity, he spoke of him “We are not, Hester, the worst sinners in the world. There is one worse than even the polluted priest! The old man’s revenge has been blacker than my sin. He has violated, in cold blood, the sanctity of the human heart.” (Hawthorne, 131) to describe how over the years, Chillingworth had become a mindless machine bent only on revenge. When Dimmesdale finally dies, Chillingworth begs him not to, and soon loses his mind, vanishes, and dies, as his only purpose in life, to hurt Dimmesdale, could not be done anymore. Although the sin had not been his, Roger Chillingworth had let it consume his entire life.
The same sin can affect people in different ways, as shown in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Hester Prynne was open about her sin, and she used it to improve herself. Arthur Dimmesdale kept his side secret, and it ate away at his soul and eventually killed him. It wasn't his sin, but Roger Chillingworth became so obsessed with revenge...
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