Hypocrisy In The Scarlet Letter

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Brooke Clayton 10/10/2011 AP English Language Thesis Statement Paragraph The issue I am going to address in my essay is hypocrisy and how it is the main theme of The Scarlet Letter. The main example from the novel that I am going to use is the character of Arthur Dimmesdale. He preaches in his sermons that sins hidden will eventually be found out, yet hides the sins that he commits throughout his life. He claims that he loves Pearl and Hester, yet refuses to be seen in public with them. He keeps secrets from the entire community, yet is consumed with rage when Hester tells him the truth about Roger Chillingworth being her husband. How can he be angry with her for hiding something from him when he is hiding a secret from everyone he knows? Another example of hypocrisy in the novel is Puritan society as a whole. At the beginning of the novel, we learn that the first building built was the prison. The Puritans were supposed to be a religious group of people who were very tolerant, forgiving, and who always strived to please the Lord. If that was true, why would the first building built in their town be a prison? Other sources and examples I am going to use are The Minister’s Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Woman Caught in Adultery, A Double Standard by E.W. Harper, and The Scarlet Letter painting by T.H. Matteson. The Minister’s Black Veil is being used to show another example of a man who is trying to hide and cover his sins. I am using The Woman Caught in Adultery biblical account to explain how Jesus faced the woman’s sins openly and how people should as well. The biblical account tells how people can be so quick to judge (much like the community in The Scarlet Letter), and how we shouldn’t be that way. The Scarlet Letter was meant to show the hypocrisy in Puritan society (and the people in the society) and how it causes so much pain and
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