Sin As We Know It Essay

1418 words - 6 pages

Sin. You’ve all committed it. Some far more than others. All going through the same process of recovery. Some cope, others live a life full of secrets and regrets. Which of these are you? How you choose to react to a sin defines the person you are. The Scarlet Letter properly displays the difference in how you choose to deal with sin through revealing it or keeping it within ourselves; as well as the high price you must pay for your sins and the results they cause. Revealing your sin was the chosen path for Hester Prynne. It wasn’t necessarily her choice for this sin to be revealed, but it was. She accepted her punishment and lived through the public humiliation and her shameful infamy to ...view middle of the document...

This is proved on page 50 in the novel when it says,
“And never had Hester Prynne appeared more lady-like, in the antique interpretation of the term, than as she issued from the prison. Those who had before known her, and had expected to behold her dimmed and obscured by a disastrous could, were astonished, and even startled, to perceive how her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the ignominy in which she was enveloped.”
Not only did she accept her punishment, but she was persistent on living it out. The magistrate offered to her the opportunity to remove the scarlet letter from her breast but she refused. She felt that she must live with this sin until the day she died. This was also evident when she returned to that town at the end of the novel still wearing the letter. She wanted to gain penance for her sin and felt that the letter was a constant reminder of that sin and should always remain apart of her. Living with this revealed sin helped Hester to accept the inappropriate action she committed and could start to forgive herself. There was still on secret she held on to however, that secret was the cause for another persons’ concealed sin.
Reverend Dimmesdale brought upon himself his own person pain and torture by hiding his sin from the rest of society. This took quite a toll on his emotional and physical stature. We first acknowledged his physical pain when he began to become very ill. Aside from that, Dimmesdale also resorts to old Roman ways of gaining penance. He used a scourge on himself to cause physical pain. He seemed to have practiced this method on himself many times to punish himself for his sin. Keeping this sin to himself also caused him to become emotionally drained and damaged. He explains to Hester how the weight of his sin caused such a burden on him and the misery it constantly brings upon himself. He actually envies Hester for being able to clear her mind and the weight off of her shoulders by having revealed the sin. This leads to the last point where it is discovered that Dimmesdale had revealed his sin to himself in secret. As Dimmesdale is confessing his sin he displays a letter ‘A’ carved into his chest. “Most of the spectators testified to having seen, on the breast of the unhappy minister, A SCARLET LETTER- the very semblance of that worn by Hester Prynne- imprinted in the flesh.” page 230. This letter symbolized the hidden sin of the Reverend. Although he did apply the same letter A to his punishment as Hester had to do, it was always covered by his shirt and never to be seen. That letter A is representing his concealed sin which he keeps hidden from everyone but himself. In the end, the Reverend could no longer keep this secret sin and died using his last breath to tell of his wrong doings. However, he left behind the product...

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