Scarlet Letter

Essay by Shiv_ChangelaHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2013

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Shadow of Sin

"Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy" (Proverbs 23:13 NIV). Throughout The Scarlet Letter, the effects of sin on the physical and emotional part of the body are visible. This story deals with many themes, the most powerful being sin. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses Hester, Dimmesdale, Chillingworth, and Pearl experience to show the effect of sin in The Scarlet Letter.

Although Hester's sin is the heart of the novel, in some ways she does not seem to suffer as many effects of sin as the other characters do. The Puritan community punished Hester by physically showing her sin through the letter A on her bosom. However, she seems to embrace her punishment, and does not allow the Puritans to affect her. The narrator states, "On the breast of her grown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the Letter A" (Hawthorne 82).

While the other characters are becoming monstrous in their sin, Hester seems to strive off from it. The Puritans are looking at her with a keener eye and transform the meaning of the letter A from adultery to able.

Pearl is directly formed as the result of a sinful nature. She was considered as a constant reminder of her mother's sin and the only bond between Hester and her lover. For example, when Hester took off her Scarlet Letter, Pearl went on a rage like a demon child until Hester put it back on. Pearl depends on the letter "A's" existence as an essential part of her mother. But towards the end of the novel when Dimmesdale finally acknowledges his sin, she finds peace and can go on with her life without the...