The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1794 Words Nov 16th, 2015 8 Pages
Throughout history, one reoccurring theme has been the harsh judgement of society against those who stand out. Although in certain periods and different societies, public shaming seems to have been more severe, it is, in all actuality, equally cruel today, yet in different forms. Despite this, keeping one 's sins a secret and away from societal judgement seems to have more of a negative affect on oneself, often causing poor mental and physical health, than confessing and facing consequences. In The Scarlet Letter, author, Nathaniel Hawthorne explores how one is affected, both physically and mentally, when his/her appearance doesn 't match his/her reality through the main characters of the novel, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale. In their 1600 's Puritan society, Hawthorne depicts the differences between Hester and Dimmesdale’s public versus private shaming for their committed sin of adultery, reflected through how both forms of ignominy affect their characters mental and physical health. Although Hester and Dimmesdale are the main characters that struggle with the difficulty of their appearance matching their reality, there are others that contribute to their conflicts. These characters are known as Pearl, Hester’s daughter who is being portrayed as “God’s messenger” to teach her to be her true self, and Roger Chillingworth, Hester’s long lost husband who torments Dimmesdale, also teaching him to be his true self by challenging him confess his sin throughout the novel. In…
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