The Scarlet Letter
The main characters each had to face their wrongdoing in the light or dark. Roger Chillingworth, Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale and Pearl Prynne come full circle with the birth and death of the figures. The actions of the sinners put a shadow on the lives of those around them. All view their effrontery in different ways, some thought they had the right to sin and shame other. Sin was the major topic of Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter.
Hester sin of adultery was the focus of this novel. With out her husband, whom she the thought died, she committed adultery. Refusing to give up his name as Pearl's father, wanting her to "never know [her] earthly one, only her "heavenly Father" show her determination to stay faithful and loyal to Dimmesdale (Hawthorne 63). A woman full of motherly love that she showers on her daughter, her love and concerns for her product makes her wonder if her offspring abnormal. She worries about her lack of self-control and her shunning playmates. Her appeal to the Governor and to her ex-lover that "God gave [her] the child for her "happiness and her "torture, in which for them to allow her to keep the elf child, shows the importance of the daughter in her life (104). As a woman with excellent values and noble qualities, when she walks to the scaffold, she holds her head high and sheds no tears. Self-inflicted plainness her only adornment "an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, the letter A (48) Her life of seclusion shows her determination to seek repentance for her sin. Not a vengeful person, she never tries to make the reverend guilty for not stepping up to as the father of her child. Neither does she harbor malice towards Chillingworth, whom she considers responsible for her vilification.
Her life was an example for the other sinner around her, "she felt an eye [her] upon ignominious brand (79). Thinking that she has not "sinned alone, she knows that other feels the shame that she feels. In her public and private suffering, represented by the scarlet letter in her life, she remains a pillar of strength. Hester's selflessness also reflected in the services that she renders to the poor, needy and the sick. Her goodhearted way of living reflects her devotion to those underprivileged. She transforms into a sexless person; coving her hair and wears dull and sober clothes without any embellishment or appeal. Only when she takes off the "A "her sex, her youth, and the whole richness of her beauty came back (191). By freezing her world into a small circle containing only Pearl and herself, she shields the two of them from the scorn of an upright and cold society. Through her life of suffering, she emerges a stronger person, a "with a woman's strength" better able to handle life's painful moments (150). Hester's strength of character in public her way of steeling herself against her inner wounds inflicted by her reputation and plague by the scarlet letter. Her weakness revealed in her private vent of her grief through tears. Her silent suffering eventually wins the sympathy of others but still fails to gain her complete acceptance by the Puritan society that surrounds her.
Committing adultery with Hester was Dimmesdale sin, it more and internal rather than external. His own weakness and lack of courage, he fails to confess and suffers constantly. He continually places his hand over his heart, covering the scarlet letter that permanently engraved there. To punish himself for his sin, he would use a "scourge on himself "laughing bitterly as he would do so (135). Fast, "not the purify [of his] body, but to "rigorously | until his knees would give out. He would keep "vigils "night after night", torturing himself for the sin he committed. He never confesses but mildly attempted to do so several times. When he gathers strength to hint that he a sinner, he does it so indirectly that his confession considered a sign of his humility, his congregation with "deep awe and wonder still loves and praises him more (241). The more the people honor him, the more his guilt grows. The hypocrite retaining his religious image in public and lead a guilt-ridden life of self-punishment in private that ruined his health and causes his physical deterioration.
Dimmesdale fears discovery and his caution about openly revealing his guiltiness discriminating to Hester and himself. His disbelief and his lack of faith in him are responsible for his tragic end. Thinking of him as "pollution and a lie, his guilt worries his heart, weaken the vital force of life, rendering him a moving and visible phantom with no sense of definite purpose in life (134). He thinks he the "one sinner of the world he wants to confess, but knowing the consequences, not brave enough to do so (239). His failure to find peace and happiness caused by his rejection to seek the forgiveness of God or from his congregation, however, his weaknesses and faults reveals it self. In his dying breath he did not what "the sin here so awfully revealed forgotten by God (241). Only upon his death does he ask in public for Pearl to "Kiss him , and gives her his only fatherly advice to "not yonder, in the forest (240). He leads a phony life, walking down the street he want to give a "wicked look at a young "maiden, than wanted to teach "little Puritan children some "wicked words"(206, 207)
Pearl never committed any sin, she only the product of that indulgence. Her mother paid for this child with her honor; therefore, the name has importance, meaning valuable but costly, for she Hester's "only treasure (82). As the living scarlet letter and a constant reminder of her parents' sin, She displays signs of wildness, rebellion, and freedom. She happiest out in nature, where her carefree heart seems to communicate with the forces that surround her, Her isolation from the world of humans only strengthens her union with Nature. The sad, gloomy, and lonely lives of her parents, especially of Hester, deeply affects Pearl. She lives a secluded life without mingling with other children. Though she leads a friendless life, she is secure in her mother's love. Never really seen her mother without the "A , frighten to see her without it, when she and her father were in the woods. She, however, wonders about her father and seems to understand that Dimmesdale somehow related to her. She aware of him because he refuses sees her in public, because "in the dark night-time he calls [them] to him, but in the sunny day he knows [them] not; nor must [they] know him (216).
Wise beyond her years, Pearl's elfin nature, her desire to lead a free life without duty to any authority, including her mother, and her open rebellion make others wonder about her upbringing. "There was a fire in her [Pearl] and throughout her; she seemed the unpremeditated offshoot of a passionate moment" (93) When the adulteress hears talk about removing Pearl from her and placing her with a guardian, she approaches the Governor and begs to keep her child. Rev. Dimmesdale comes to her defense, and Hester allowed raising her daughter. She transformed at the end due to Dimmesdale's acceptance of parenthood, all littlest Prynne wanted was his love and acceptance in the open. When he asks her for a kiss this time, she willingly gives it. With that, kiss the "spell was broken"(240). As a result, she cries with real human emotion for the first time, with that her past put away and she will be able to live a normal life in the future.
Chillingworth premeditate his sin of revenge. He came back into Hester life only to get retribution. A hardhearted, dark man, the black man seems to be the devil himself whose designs wreck havoc on the already withered young clergyman. His vengefulness and evil nature reveals in his harsh manipulation and torture of the reverend, he "[plots] no evil against Hester only the minister (69). In spite of his wickedness, both the adulteresses and hyperctric forgive him. Hester's husband exists as the priest worst enemy, unworthy of trust. Instead of helping the clergyman to overcome his health problems, he aggravates them through torment. The gradual deterioration of his health aggravated by the doctor, He does not realize that his ex- lover husband is his worst enemy.
Upon his death only a year after Dimmesdale's, Chillingworth died leaving everything to Pearl. Knowing that the Satan's child "is none of [his] she will not recognize [his] voice, or aspect as an father (66). When the reverend want to confess, Roger, tries to stay the innocent person and make sure that Arthur does not "blacken [his] fame and dishonor his perish (237). Knowing that the "scaffold "the only place that he could "escaped [him]" (240). "All his strength and energy ---- all his vital and intellectual force-----seemed at once to desert him when he lost all his focus on life. With no one to seek revenge of and no one to love him, he lost his reason to live (244). Tormenting his wife lover is greater than the sin of adultery that his committed.
The transgression of each person greater or lesser than the other person, but all sinned. Pearl the only innocent, because she did not commit sin she just the creation of it. All the indulgences came into the light when the person decided to. Each crime could be weighted, but Chillingworth's wrongdoing was the worst because it predetermining it before he came to town. Hester and Chillingworth both lived troubling lives due to the internal and external pressure surrounding their offense. The sin that committed everyday is look upon a microscope by God so why do we sin.