Sin, Knowledge, and the Human Condition

790 WordsOct 12, 20114 Pages
The Bible begins with the story of Adam and Eve, who are soon expelled from the Garden of Eden for eating from the tree of knowledge. Accordingly, Adam and Eve are enlightened of their humanness. This new knowledge sets them apart from other creatures of the world. After their expulsion from the Garden, Adam and Eve are forced to toil and procreate-two “labors” that characterize the Human Condition. The tale of Hester and Dimmesdale recounts that of Adam and Eve because, in both stories, sin results in expulsion and suffering. Yet it also leads to knowledge, particularly the knowledge of what it is to be human. The Scarlet Letter emphasizes the association between sin, knowledge, and the Human Condition. Hester is ushered into a sort of…show more content…
Revenge becomes his only aspiration and he dies within a year of Dimmesdale’s death, his purpose for living gone. Chillingworth brings no good out of his sin. He simply continues his torment of Dimmesdale until the end of his life. Hester and Dimmesdale ponder their own sinfulness, attempt to learn from their sins, and try to reconcile with their lived experiences. The contemplations of their sin bring both Hester and Dimmesdale to important personal growth. Dimmesdale has change in that he can more easily empathize and understand his fellow man and sinner. Hester has her mind opened up and thinks more freely about herself and the society she is a part of. Hester and Dimmesdale’s experience show that while sin may be wrong, it can sometimes have important and commendable outcomes. Work Cited Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Columbus, Ohio: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2000.
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