Hypocrisy In Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter

2129 Words9 Pages
The Scarlet Letter: The Dangers of Hypocrisy In Matthew 23:13 Jesus cries out, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces.” Shortly after that, Jesus says, “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?” Since hypocrisy can be found in each and every person in some form or another, scores of authors have used their stories to illustrate the dangers of hypocrisy. Nathaniel Hawthorne chose to display this moral in one of his most famous works. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne works through his characters to reveal the perilous dangers of hypocrisy. Hawthorne displays the hypocrisy in his characters through the first scaffold scene. In the case of Hester, Hawthorne displays her hypocrisy in that while Hester is on the scaffold and should be feeling guilt, ignominy, and embarrassment, Hawthorne says that she feels as…show more content…
Kirk surmises, “Of human compassion, he has none,” Chillingworth is so filled with vengeance there is nothing else in him. Chillingworth calls out to Dimmesdale, “Hadst thou sought the whole earth over there was no one place so secret . . . where thou couldst have escaped me, - save on this very scaffold!” Chillingworth reveals his hypocrisy in this instance because he shows that he would rather chase Dimmesdale to the ends of the earth than allow the truth to come out. Certainly another evidence of Chillingworth’s hypocrisy can be seen through his appearances. Directly after Dimmesdale’s death, Hawthorne speaks of Chillingworth as having “positively withered up, shriveled away, and almost vanished from mortal sight.” Kirk says that “Chillingworth has become such a fiend that his very existence depends on Dimmesdale,” this explains the devastating effect the death of Dimmesdale has on

More about Hypocrisy In Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter

Open Document