Critical Essay Of The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne ( Do You Dread Guilt?)

700 words - 3 pages

What is guilt? We all have guilt about something. Maybe forgetting something,lied about something, or even did something that shouldn't of been done. In The ScarletLetter by Nathaniel Hawthorne we saw guilt fester in the minds and outward appearanceof the main characters, Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth.When you hear the word guilt what do you think it means? Guilt meansremorseful awareness of having done something wrong or of having failed to dosomething required or expected. Does that sound about right? Guilt is somethingeveryone has. Its this mental manifestation that lets us know when we did somethingwrong but no one knows it yet. Guilt is very powerful. Some people after awhile give into this guilt and confess what they did.In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale commit a great sin.Because of this great sin, it causes them immense guilt and sadness though out the rest ofthe book. One of the main character's that is affected the most is Arthur Dimmesdale.Dimmesdale handles it in a different way though, to him its more of a 'concealed sin.' Aexample of this is, 'It may be that they are kept silent by the very constitution of theirnature. Or - can we not suppose it - guilty as they may be, retaining, nevertheless, a zealfor God's glory and man's welfare, they shrink from displaying themselves black and filthyin the view of men; because, thenceforward, no good can be achieved by them; no evil orthe past be redeemed by better service.' Dimmesdale also has another reason for hisconcealing, he wants to remain silent so that he can continue to do God's work as aminister.Hester Prynne handles her guilt in another way. Instead of worrying about it dayafter day and letting to fester, she makes it outward. At the beginning of the book shewears the most awesome clothes and shows the world she's not guilty for what she hasdone. An example of this is, 'And never had Hester Prynne appeared more lady-like, inthe antique interpretation of the term, than as she issued from...

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