Sin and Redemption of Scarlet Letter Essay

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Sin and Redemption:
The Transformations of Prynne, Chillingsworth, and Dimmesdale

In “The Scarlet Letter,” Hawthorne presents the consequences of sin as an important aspect in the lives of Hester Prynne, Roger Chillingsworth, and Arthur Dimmesdale. The sin committed, adultery, between Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale had resulted in the birth of their innocent little girl, Pearl. This sin ruined the three main characters’ lives completely in different ways. With the sin committed, there were different ways the characters reacted to it: embracing the sin, concealing the sin, and becoming obsessed and consumed with it. With each reaction to the sin there were also different actions of redemption.
The sin of adultery and the power to
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The letter went from a “badge of shame as an adulterer to a “symbol of her calling” as being able to help others in need (111). All of her hard work and determination allowed her to succeed and the townspeople embraced her and spoke good words of her, saying she was “so kind to the poor, so helpful to the sick, [and] so comfortable to the afflicted” (111). Though she committed adultery and went through a great deal of public humiliation, she did not let it destroy her. Instead she embraced her sin and was able to redeem herself through hard work and determination.
The sin of hypocrisy and secrecy is represented through the character, Arthur Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale, the minister of the town, got a married woman pregnant and concealed the fact that he did from the rest of the townspeople for many years. In the beginning of the novel, the townspeople viewed Dimmesdale’s “eloquence and religious fervor” as bringing a positive innocent man to the town (46). Though he portrays an outwardly goodness about him, he truly is mendacious on the inside. His guilty conscience caused him to become extremely sickly. The townspeople believed that Dimmesdale’s health “had suffered severely, of late, by his too unreserved self-sacrifice to the labors and duties of the pastoral relation” (74). Truthfully though, the young minister was “pale, and holding his hand over his heart” as a clue of is suffering from hiding his sin (78). Later, it is
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