Exposed Sin Vs. Hidden Sin In The Scarlet Letter

664 words - 3 pages

Exposed Sin vs. Hidden Sin

Since the beginning of time we have shown our imperfections as human beings. As detailed by the Bible in the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge committing the original sin. This infraction against God resulted in Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden, and set the foundation for the judgment of mankind. The word sin derives from Old English synn and is defined as something shameful, deplorable, or utterly wrong. In this essay I will be comparing exposed sin to hidden sin as related to The Scarlet Letter, and the effects it has on people.
In Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne represents the exposed sin while Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth represent the hidden sin. Hester Prynne’s sin is exposed on the scaffold in front of the townspeople. For punishment she is made to wear the letter “A”, for adulteress, on her bosom. Hester’s daughter, Pearl, is herself a symbol of the scarlet letter. Pearl is always seen with Hester just as the scarlet letter is always seen on Hester. In a way Hester is “wearing” Pearl as another symbol to express the sin she has committed. At first the scarlet letter is a burden for Hester but it eventually leads to her redemption and independence. After so many years Hester is able to wear the scarlet letter proudly and dies with honor instead of disgrace.
Contrarily, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale chooses to conceals his sin which leads to the deterioration of his physical and spiritual health, and ultimately leads to his death. Dimmesdale is given several opportunities to confess his sin but refrains from doing so, looking for penitence - fasting and whipping himself - but finds no solace. After years of bearing such guilt, Dimmesdale tells the townspeople that he is Hester’s secret lover and Pearl’s father before his death. Confessing his sin allows Dimmesdale to find peace before death however, the...

Find Another Essay On Exposed Sin vs. Hidden Sin in the Scarlet Letter

The Presence of Sin in The Scarlet Letter

1676 words - 7 pages What makes an individual human is the absence of perfection. Everyone commits sin either accidentally or intentionally, but it always has a consequence. In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the sins committed by the main characters in a Puritan society are analyzed. The different ways each character psychologically deals with the effect of sin demonstrate the fluctuations of human nature. The presence of sin, and its

The Power of Secret Sin in The Scarlet Letter

1529 words - 6 pages The Power of Secret Sin in The Scarlet Letter   One of the main themes in The Scarlet Letter is that of the secret.  The plot of the book is centered on Hester Prynne’s secret sin of adultery.  Nathaniel Hawthorne draws striking parallelism between secrets held and the physical and mental states of those who hold them.  The Scarlet Letter demonstrates that a secret or feeling kept within slowly engulfs and destroys the soul such as

The Concepts Of Morality And Sin In The Scarlet Letter

1250 words - 5 pages The Concepts of Morality and Sin in the Scarlet Letter Many interpret The Scarlet Letter as a story based on love and passion. In his Criticism "The Scarlet Letter as a Love Story" Ernest Sandeen writes about the "erotic passion" and "courtly love" displayed in the novel, and he calls it "Hawthorne's own version of the traditional story of passion." It is clear that the Scarlet Letter includes passion and love, but are we

Essay on The Greater Sin in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

797 words - 3 pages The Greater Sin in The Scarlet Letter   In essence, there were three main sins committed in The Scarlet Letter, the sins of Hester, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth. Roger Chillingworth committed the greatest sin because he let himself be ruled by hatred and the consuming desire for vengeance.  The overpowering vengeance and hatred felt by Chillingworth caused his life to be centered on demeaning Dimmesdale and

The Scarlet Letter: The Response to Sin

1890 words - 8 pages 19th century witnessed the power of sin to wreak havoc not only to an individual but a whole community. His novel The Scarlet Letter expresses this very idea by exposing the follies of mankind and the potentially detrimental effects of sin trough Hester Prynne, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth who all affected by sin in different ways. Utilizing powerful symbols and light/dark imagery, Hawthorne conveys to the readers, through

Sin and Personal Growth in The Scarlet Letter

1562 words - 6 pages The Scarlet Letter was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne and was first published in 1850. Hawthorne’s purpose for The Scarlet Letter was to show how anybody can sin, and that sin should be used as an example to learn from. Hawthorne also made clear that good can come from sin and that sin can help a person grow. Hester Prynne is the main character of the book. She is still young when she has her child, Pearl. She is a strong and determined, and

Sin and Punishment in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

1671 words - 7 pages In the novel The Scarlet Letter the predominant themes are sin and punishment. The opening scene showed Hester Prynne standing on a scaffold, clutching her baby, and displaying the scarlet letter A on her chest. Hester committed the sin of adultery, and her daughter Pearl is a product of that sin. Pearl is a living, physical representation of the crime that Hester committed. Hawthorne uses Pearl as one of the most essential characters for

Hawthorne's Hierarchy of Sin in The Scarlet Letter

1402 words - 6 pages Hawthorne's Hierarchy of Sin in The Scarlet Letter        Throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne focuses on the struggle of Hester Prynne, a woman who is forced to deal with the strict Puritan punishment for the adulterous birth of her child, Pearl.  Yet, the very Puritan values that bring Hester public ignominy help to lift her to a position of respect in the community.  Although Hawthorne does not condone Hester's

The Ultimate Sin Exposed in Geothe's Faust

1984 words - 8 pages the ultimate sin or worst possible sin anyone could ever commit was to think yourself equal to or higher than God. In the Bible, the devil makes this mistake by challenging God and achieves his fall from grace as a result. Faust makes the same mistake and he is forgiven in the end when he humbles himself and recognizes God as a higher power. Geothe also seems to comment on the power of God, implying that since you don't own your soul you can't sell

The effects and Implications of Sin in The Scarlet Letter: This is an essay about how sin effected the different characters in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

788 words - 3 pages Chillingworth is in many was affected by his sin.Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth suffer the consequences of sin in Hawthorne's psychological novel, The Scarlet Letter. All men sin and there are consequences for all sins, yet when sins are exposed the consequences may be less. In The Scarlet Letter, Dimmsdale hides his sin and he suffers more than Hester, who reveals her sin. People who confess their sins find peace and those who conceal their sins will suffer. To prove his point Hawthorne uses "Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!"

A Perception of Sin: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter

942 words - 4 pages approaching and exclaimed “Behold, verily, there is the woman of the scarlet letter…!” (Hawthorne 93) On one occasion, the scarlet “A” virtually hid Hester, so that all that could be seen of her was her mark of sin. “…the scarlet letter was represented in exaggerated and gigantic proportions, so as to be greatly the most prominent feature of her appearance…she seemed absolutely hidden behind it.” (Hawthorne 97) For many years, Hester was looked down upon

Similar Essays

Resolution Of Sin In The Scarlet Letter.

542 words - 2 pages characters dealt with it.Hester Prynne has a strength of character. She is very honest so she openly acknowledges her sin. Hester stands on the scaffold, exposed to public humiliation, and wears a scarlet letter on her dress for the rest of her life as a sign of shame. Her beauty and warmth go away, buried under the burden of the elaborate scarlet letter on her bosom. Hester settles in a cottage at the edge of town, lives a somber life with her

Analysis Of Sin In The Scarlet Letter

1683 words - 7 pages is vast; Hawthorne critically explores the strict, inflexible Puritanical approach to sin and its implication for individuals and society. Hawthorne investigates the intent behind sin in The Scarlet Letter using Dimmesdale and Chillingworth in order to criticize the Puritan Code and to demonstrate the ramifications intent can have on the sinner’s ability to earn forgiveness and gain redemption. Dimmesdale’s and Hester’s sin of adultery serves

Sin In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

2142 words - 9 pages      Nathaniel Hawthorne's bold novel, The Scarlet Letter, revolves around sin and punishment.  The main characters of the novel sharply contrast each other in the way they react to the sin that has been committed             Dimmesdale's instantaneous response to the sin is to lie.  He stands before Hester and the rest of the town and proceeds to give a moving speech about how it would be in her and the father's best interest for her to

Sin Of The Flesh In The Scarlet Letter

1304 words - 5 pages The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a highly acclaimed work which centerpiece is the focus on the effects of sin in Puritan society. Hawthorne carried a heavy burden of truth hidden within the Puritan code, which has in turn created frenzy for his book since its publication in 1850. The age-old tale is of Hester Prynne a married woman in Boston, who is charged with adultery with an unknown partner. As punishment Hester