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How the Characters of the Scarlet Letter Represent Sin

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 10:22 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.1 
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Lexico Publishing Dictionary at Dictionary.com defines sin as; 1. A transgression of a religious or moral law, especially when deliberate, and 2. Something regarded as being shameful, deplorable, or utterly wrong.   These who definitions cleary represent the sin in Nathaniel Hawthorne\'s The Scarlet Letter, through the characters Hester Prynne, her daughter Pearl, Dimmesdale the father, and Chillingworth, Hester\'s husband.

Hester Prynne, the wearer of the famous scarlet letter that gave the novel it\'s name, is the story\'s source of the unforgivable sin that tears through the community of Boston in the 1600\'s.   Hester\'s future and reputation in her small home town were changed forever after she was sentenced to wear the beautifuly embroidered scarlet letter \"A\" for the rest of her days in the village.   This letter on her chest forces her to be a public outcast, and a symbol for everyone else around her to look at, as a sinner.   As Hawthorne describes it, \"It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity and enclosing her in a sphere by herself\" , it did just that.   Hester soon realizes that she is in a world of her own now, and must deal with this punishment as she has brought it onto herself.   Since the scarlet letter itself represents sin, it brings about her isolation from the world and shows her sin will affect her own livlihood.   Also, things such as guilt and lonliness are concequences of her sin, that she must learn to deal with.   But probly the most important symbol of her sin is her daughter Pearl, as she is living evidence of the adultery between Hester and Dimmsedale.

Pearl, the outcome of the relation between Hester Prynne and Reverend Dimmesdale, is the very embodiment of Hester.   Pearl represents them same thing the scarlet letter represents in once sense, as both are bound to Hester forever and are both outcomes of her sin.   Both Pearl and the letter A add to the anguish and pain that the...


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