Evil Of Isolation. Essay On "The Scarlet Letter"

611 words - 2 pages

In the New Testament it states that 'the wages of sin is death.' Though thepenalty of sin in The Scarlet Letter is not a termination of life, the evil of isolation can bea physically, morally, and socially tortuous event in Puritan society. Hester Prynne andArthur Dimmesdale, in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, are both victims of the cruelisolation from Puritan society on the basis of their sins. Hester wears her sin upon herbreast where it stands as a constant reminder of her malfeasance. Shame and isolationstrip her of all passion and femininity, leaving her a shell of her former self. ThoughArthur's mark of shame is not visible, it is all the more tortuous for its absence. Shameand guilt feed upon Arthur's soul with slow malevolency. Only a combination of deathand confession finally release Arthur from his torture.Though Hester's ostracism from society and the tortuous nature of her shame,Hester is stripped of all passion and humanity. Since society acknowledges Hester's sin,she becomes an exile in her own town. 'All the world Ha[s] frowned on her,' and Hestermust bear the brunt of her shameful isolation. When Hester walks through her town 'asort of magic circle [forms] itself around her.' Devoid of any social contact, save that ofher daughter, Hester must endure of lonely existence. 'In all her intercourse with society,save that of her daughter, there was nothing that made [Hester] feel as if she belonged toit.'; therefore, she turns to herself for reflection of her shame. When Hester must walkthrough the town, she suffers 'an agony from every footstep.' Frequent suffering does notinure Hester to her inner torment; instead, the same grows' more sensitive with dailytorture.' Hester's ostracism from a stoic society and the burdensome nature of her shame,deprive her off life. Treated as a dangerous delinquent by society, Hester begins toquestion her humanity. Due to her intense suffering,...

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