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Lasting Effect of Sin

Uploaded by xxbolshriharixx on Mar 08, 2001

The past always comes back to haunt us throughout our lives. Puritan society is highly based upon a person’s reputation. Without an honorable reputation a person is not worthy of respect from others in their society. Characters in this novel go through their lives struggling with themselves trying to cope with the guilt and shame associated with their actions. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, he shows the lasting effect that sin has on Hester and Dimmesdale.

Hester Prynne’s guilt is the result of her committing adultery, which has a profound effect on her life. Hester is publicly seen with the scarlet letter when she first emerges out of the cold dark prison. “It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity and enclosing her in a sphere by herself ” (Hawthorne 49). The spell that is mentioned is the scarlet letter, “so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom” (Hawthorne 49). The scarlet letter is what isolates her from everyone else because it symbolizes sin. Hester is in her very own sphere, a world of her own where her sin effects her livelihood and has completely isolated her from the world. Her entrance into the sphere marks the beginning of her guilt, it occurs when she is “in the prison after her first exposure to the crowd-her “moral agony” reflected in the convolutions that have seized the child; her pride, her daring” (Bloom 34). The prison marks the beginning of a new life for Hester, a life full of guilt and isolation. Her “moral agony” (Bloom 34), is her guilt that is slowly surfacing while she faces the crowd realizing that she has been stripped of her pride and everything that was important to her in the past. The lasting effect of Hester’s sin is the guilt that she now embodies due to her commiting adultery. The guilt that is associated with Hester’s sin remains with her as an everlasting reminder of her sinful actions (Bloom 34). Guilt is a consequence of sin that Hester has to endure throughout her life. Hester’s guilt begins starts to have a profound effect on her life and thinking.

Hester’s guilt has become very influential in her life making her unable to express herself freely. “Hester Prynne might have repaid them all with a bitter and disdainful smile. But under the leaden infliction which it was her...

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Uploaded by:   xxbolshriharixx

Date:   03/08/2001

Category:   The Scarlet Letter

Length:   8 pages (1,772 words)

Views:   2506

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