Sin And Salvation In Scarlet Letter

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne Pages: 5 (1079 words) Published: January 13, 2017


The Puritan society in Massachusetts during the time of the 1600s had very strong religious beliefs about the importance of sin and salvation. Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his book, The Scarlet Letter tells the story of the conflicts between Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth and how their sins affect themselves and their community. All three have committed grave sin in the eyes of the Puritans, but the most evil sin was committed by Roger Chillingworth.

The opening of the book focuses on Hester Prynne being publicly shamed for the sin that she committed. She was released from jail and made to stand in front of the public wearing the letter “A” embroidered on her dress. This letter symbolized the mark of her sin of adultery....

He and Hester recognized each other but he motioned to her to keep quiet about it. It's learned that Chillingworth had been living with Indians for over a year and was Hester's lost physician husband. He made Hester promise not to tell who he is and she agreed. He became friends with Dimmesdale so he could seek revenge on him as he started to figure out that he was the unknown adulterer. Chillingworth is described as an intellectual and scholarly man who had a love of learning. Dimmesdale was attracted to Chillingworth friendship because of his intellect and him being a physician and man of science. Through their “friendship”, Chillingworth convinced everyone that he should take care of Dimmesdale since he had been sick. While he was living with the minister and taking care of him, he psychologically tortured him. He admitted to Hester, “Never a man suffered as much as this one has all at the hands of his worst enemy...He cannot imagine that I have become a great agent of Satan for the sole purpose of tormenting Arthur Dimmesdale” (85)! Chillingworth had been acting as he was trying to help Dimmesdale but with his torture, caused him to become weaker and physically ill. One night as Dimmesdale fell asleep, Chillingworth pulled back his shirt and saw the letter “A” carved into his chest. It is at that point that Chillingworth knew...

Hester and Dimmesdale both suffered publicly and privately for their sin but some good came out of their mistakes. Hester became a strong woman with compassion for others and helped those in need in the community. Although his sin weakened him physically to the point of death, Dimmesdale had insight on guilt and sin and was able to use that to inspire his congregation by his understanding. Unlike the others that were able to learn from their sin and help others, Chillingworth’s proved to be the most evil with his sin of...
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