Scarlet Letter Effects Of Sin

Decent Essays
In the Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses Dimmesdale and Hester to portray the effects of sin on people. These two characters both suffer because of their iniquity and the strict Puritan society that they live in. Throughout the book, there is evidence that Dimmesdale suffers more than Hester. Firstly, Dimmesdale’s guilt leads him to inflict punishment on himself, while Hester does not. Second of all, he is consumed by a feeling of hypocrisy. Finally, Dimmesdale is tortured by Chillingworth, but Chillingworth does not torture Hester. Dimmesdale suffered a lot and this finally leads to his death. To begin with, Dimmesdale’s hidden guilt causes him to punish himself. “His inward trouble drove him to practices, more in accordance with the old, corrupted…show more content…
Dimmesdale feels like a hypocrite, because he is portrayed as a pure man, but on the inside he is a sinner. Also, the more he tries to confess his sins, the more the congregation love his sermons. Dimmesdale even tries to reveal his inner self throughout the novel. In chapter 20 Dimmesdale wants to do bad things to show that he is impure, “it was only by the most careful self-control that the former could refrain from uttering certain blasphemous suggestions that rose into his mind” (207). The feeling of hypocrisy is driving Dimmesdale crazy, but Hester does not have this feeling.The reader sees that Dimmesdale is actually jealous of Hester, “Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly upon your bosom! Mine burns in secret! Thou little knowest what a relief it is, after the torment of a seven years' cheat, to look into an eye that recognizes me for what I am!” (183) Hester does not have to deal with this guilt as much as Dimmesdale, because she was already publically punished. Everyone knows that she is a sinner, so she doesn’t have to hide it. In fact, after a couple of years, people began to see her as a saint, rather than a sinner. They even say that her scarlet letter stands for “able”. Dimmesdale’s whole life revolves around the shame and suffering of his sin, which is why he dies after he confesses his sin. However, because Hester’s sin is publically revealed, she only suffers for a couple of
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