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What Is The 'moral'of The Scarlet Letter

1640 words - 7 pages

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne was written when public punishment was common in all over Europe. People were following the Puritan religion that got many restriction and people who ever broke the rule were liable for punishment and was either put behind the bar or were being executed. In the Scarlet Letter the character Hester Prynne is being punished for Adulteress for which the modern society would look as a common mistake committed out of love. However the people during that age saw it as a great crime and the religious people believed it as a sin and were liable for punishment. The Scarlet Letter is basically a story of sin, guilt and identity. It tells about the woman who broke the law of authority and even society. By the mistake, Hester Prynne is forced to wear the letter “A” which represents adulteress. The moral of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne would be Sin, Guilt and identity as the story revolves around these three and Hester is being punished for the same reason.

In according to the Puritan people of Massachusetts Hester Prynne has committed a sin by having a child of another person though she was already married to someone else. Hester Prynne had been married to Roger Chillingworth before moving to Europe. However after moving to Europe she meets Dimmesdale and the result of the sin they commits is in the form of Pearl. (From Chapter 6, The Scarlet letter by Hawthorne) it says that “Pearl was a born outcast of the infantile world. An imp of evil, emblem and product of a sin.” Pearl who represents a girl with wisdom is a product of sin. The sin committed by Hester is known by the people all over the Massachusetts while sin partner remains in silent. (Fider,C,J) says that “While Hester’s sin is visible to all Dimmesdale’s is hidden.” Hester is being question about the other sinner she does not reveals his name. In Scarlet Letter (Chapter 5) Hawthorne points out that “She hid the secret from herself and grew pale whenever she struggled.” She is being punished and tortured for hiding the name of other sinner and she was committing another sin by doing this. People knew that the sin could not be done herself and questioned “She had sinned anew. Had she sinned alone?”(In The Scarlet Letter, Chapter 5). The secret remains for seven years until Dimmesdale himself reveals that he is another sinner people and authority had been looking for.

The sin for Roger Chillingworth husband of Hester is that he marries Hester who is much younger compared to him. (Fider,C,J) points out that Chillingworth marry Hester due to his selfishness and he could not make a good husband. He knows that Hester does not love him and he accepts saying that his first wrong thing was by destroying her youth in (Chapter 4, The Scarlet Letter). Chillingworth knows he has committed sin by destroying youth. However he wants to take revenge from the other sinner for making Hester to be punished and asks the question about the other sinner who had made...

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