Truth And Lies In The Scarlet Letter

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It is hard to trust a liar because you are never quite sure if they are being honest. In the Bible, God commands his people not to beguile others because being untruthful is considered to be a sin. Dishonesty can cause emotional hurt and a feeling of betrayal. However sometimes it is necessary to lie in order to hinder the pain that a simple fib can cause. Trust is a very important element in being a social person. Being trustworthy and loyal is extremely honorable in human character but at times the truth is too hard to swallow. In the novel The Scarlet Letter, by classic American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, the contrast of truth and lies is a reoccurring idea throughout the novel. Hester Prynne is a young puritan woman of God who had committed adultery while her husband left Boston, Massachusetts to travel to Europe. Because she lived in such a God driven and puritan town, the judicial system of the settlement had decided for her to acknowledge her sin by embroidering a vibrant scarlet letter “A” onto her dress to symbolize adultery. She was often ostracized from the rest of the town since she was forced to wear the crimson “A” everywhere she went. As well as the letter to remind her of the wrong she had done, the affair had left her with a fatherless daughter named Pearl. Later in the novel we discover the father is the Reverend of the town, the admirable Arthur Dimmesdale. Through pain, remorse and agony the novel reveals that it is better to tell a harmless lie then to confess a hurtful truth. Hester Prynne married at a very young age. Her husband was older than her and she never felt a sexual or physical attraction to him. Her husband set out for England without Hester and when he came back, he discovered that she had an affair with an unknown man which conceived a child. This unknown man was none other than the town’s idolized minster Arthur Dimmesdale.
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