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Untitled Essay, Research Paper
Scarlet Letter- Results of Sin
By: Alan Eugene Sims, Jr.
There are many ways to interpret literature. Nathaniel Hawthorne is considered
a very influential writer of the American Transcendentalist era; his writing
deals a lot with the Puritan times, including his famous novel, The Scarlet
Letter. The Scarlet Letter deals with the adulterous sin of Hester Prynne
and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, the vengeance of Roger Chillingsworth, and
the townspeople’s attitude towards Hester and her daughter Pearl. Sin can
be categorized many ways, but most importantly, one should remember that
bad things always develop from sin. The fact that Hester and the minister
sinned led to the townspeople looking down on Hester and Pearl, while Reverend
Dimmesdale concealed his crime of passion making Hester’s scarlet letter
‘A’ the central symbol of the novel.
As the people of Boston scrutinized Hester and Pearl, their devotion to the
Lord’s word soon turned to hatred. “At the very least, they should have put
the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne’s forehead,” were the thrashful
words of an autumnal matron in a throng of people. Under the appellation
of Roger Chillingsworth, Hester’s former husband constantly battered her.
These actions filled him full of vengeance soon making him into a fiend.
From the people treating Hester bad, and the unruly acts of Roger Chillingsworth,
it is clearly shown that one sin can lead to many others.
Another example of sin erupting into more evils is Reverend Dimmesdale’s
camouflage act with his duality in the adulterous parody. Chillingsworth
treated the minister even more uncivilized than he treated Hester; this earned
him the title of the leech. As a physician, he was well respected, but his
fiendish acts of hatred towards the minister turned him into a black devil.
Seven years after Hester served her persecution on the scaffold with young
Pearl, Reverend Dimmesdale served his punishment. Not only did the sin of
Reverend Dimmesdale make him lose all consciousness, when he confessed his
crime, he lost his life to the cause. Through trying to avoid his sin, the
more devils take hold of his life.
The scarlet letter ‘A’ is the central symbol of the novel. It served as a
sign of adultery, angel, able, and other things. Even though it served these
many titles, it does not make up for the way that Hester and Reverend
Dimmesdale’s sin erupted into many others. Many things can be learned from
the novel the Scarlet Letter even though it was written during the 19th century
and about the Puritan times. It is a good interpretation of literature.
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