Scarlet Letter Sinner

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Chansol Lim Mr. Dalbey Honors Eng 11 Period 8 November 7, 2012 TSL Essay In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, there are three major sinners: Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth. Each character commits a different sin. Hester commits adultery with Dimmesdale while Chillingworth, her husband, is absent; Dimmesdale commits the sin of adultery, and compounds it by deceiving others to hide his sin, and Chillingworth plans a hate filled revenge on Dimmesdale. Despite the fact that all three of them commit sins, people from the puritan based society, as described by Hawthorne, regarded Hester as the most sinful person and treated her with disdain. Although the puritan society depicted in The Scarlet Letter…show more content…
In modern society, people like Hester and Dimmesdale atone for their sins through acts of charity and punishment. For Hester and Dimmesdale, even though they commit sins, they both suffer a fair and sufficient punishment for their sins; further, Hester performs many good works for poor people, devoting most of her time for charity after she comes out of the prison. By using her outstanding embroidery skill, she makes clothes for poor people. Most importantly, she had to wear the scarlet letter “A”, which represents adultery, on her bosom. For Dimmesdale, even though he does not reveal his sin to other people, he suffers great agony which eventually leads him to death by the end of the story; and he dutifully delivers meaningful sermons, given his personal struggle with sin. Chillingworth, on the contrary, neither expresses regret nor remorse, and never tries to atone for his actions. Instead of seeking to expiate his sin, he keeps strategizing revenge against the young minister. To achieve his design, Chillingworth moves into Dimmesdale’s house as a physician, and while in residence there, continuously harasses the psychologically weak minister like a “leech.” The physician ultimately becomes obsessed with his revenge. Hawthorne even emphasizes this obsession by describing Chillingworth’s transformation into an embodiment of evil. Hawthorne writes: “At first his expression had been calm, meditative, scholar-like. Now, there was something ugly and evil in his face” (116). To prove to himself that Dimmesdale is indeed the one who committed adultery with his young wife, Chillingworth questions the minister. One day, Chillingworth shows a “dark flabby leaf” from graveyard to Dimmesdale; he explains that the leaf is grown out of the heart of person who dies with hideous sin, and this leaf is “sprang up out of a varied heart,
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