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Sin Of Adultery In Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter

1107 words - 4 pages

The Scarlet Letter, a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, shows the adverse consequences caused by adultery between Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne. Dimmesdale and Hester committed the supreme sin of the Puritan society they belong. They must both deal with the effects of the scarlet letter. Pearl, the daughter of the two lovers, continuously punishes Hester for what she has done. Dimmesdale can only see Hester and Pearl when others will not find out or see. Hester finds a way to support herself and daughter, and at the same time, puts a mark on the possessions of some who are a part of society. The sin of adultery created repercussions that were shared and individually experienced by Reverend Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne.
The scarlet letter is worn by Hester as a repercussion of her adulterous sin to make known her crime of passion throughout the whole story. Hester has the choice to leave town and would no longer have to wear the scarlet letter. ?On the outskirts of the town, within the verge of the peninsula, but not in close vicinity to any other habitation, there was a small thatched cottage? (71). The cottage is Hester?s home. Hester feels by staying, she is not letting society control her and acknowledging what she has done. Hester?s action of staying in town shows her strong, self-determined spirit. Hester refuses to deny the sin because it defines who she is.
Hester decides to live alone as a repercussion of the sin she committed When Hester makes the decision to not go away she has to find a way to support herself. Knowing the town will not help her, Hester turns to needlework to help support herself and daughter, Pearl. The things she makes are very beautiful and delicately done. The families that held great power saw it necessary to acquire the best money could buy. Hester would supply a style which would satisfy such a family. ?By degrees, not very slowly, her handiwork became what would now be termed the fashion? (73). Hester was able to make a living, as well as, put her mark the things people would wear.
Pearl is a constant repercussion of the adultery Hester took part in. Pearl lives with Hester in the cottage. She often reminds Hester of the sin she committed. Pearl first notices the scarlet letter on Hester. ?One day, as her mother stooped over the cradle, the infant's eyes had been caught by the glimmering of the gold embroidery about the letter, and putting up her little hand she grasped at it, smiling, not doubtfully, but with a decided gleam, that gave her face the look of a much older child? (85-86). Even when Pearl grows older she does things which remind Hester of what she did. ?In the afternoon of a certain summer's day, after Pearl grew big enough to run about, she amused herself with gathering handfuls of wild flowers, and flinging them, one by one, at her mother's bosom, dancing up and down like a little elf whenever she hit the scarlet letter? (86). Pearl has a strong-willed nature just like her...

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