The Scarlet Letter 10

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Heart Pages: 4 (1383 words) Published: October 8, 1999
“Among many morals which press upon us from the poor minister’s miserable experience, we put only this into a sentence: Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!”(Ch.24: 236) Hawthorne expresses the purpose of writing this novel in that short sentence. He creates characters who have sin and disguise these sins for their own salvation. Slowly these sins evolve the characters, it strengthens Hester, humanizes Dimmesdale, and turns Chillingworth into a demon. The story is Hawthorne’s depiction of the effects of sin on the hearts and minds of humanity during the Puritan society through the characters Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth. Hester’s sin is that her passion and love were of more importance to her than the Puritan moral code, but she learns the error of her ways and slowly regains the adoration of the community. For instance, “What we did had a consecration of its own. We felt it so! We said so to each other! Hast thou forgotten it?”(Ch.17: 179). Hester fully acknowledges her guilt and displays it with pride to the world. This was obvious by the way she displays the scarlet letter with elaborate designs showing that she is proud. Furthermore, she does not want to live a life of lies anymore when she states “forgive me! In all things else, I have striven to be true! Truth was the one virtue which I might have held fast, and did hold fast, through all extremity save when thy good--the life--they fame--were put in question! Then I consented a deception. But a lie is never good, even though death threaten the other side!”(Ch.17: 177). Hester learns from her sin, and grows strong, a direct result from her punishment. The scarlet letter ‘A’ was as if a blessing to Hester changing her into an honest person with good virtues. Fittingly, she chooses to stay in Boston with Pearl although Hawthorne admits,...
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