The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1607 Words7 Pages
Individuals have a constant drawing to conform to the norms of society. It is easy to be swept up into society’s rules as most people associate a feeling of acceptance when they fit into society. While blending in is easy, it takes far more courage and strength to be an individual as they must break free from this mainstream comfort zone to generate their own, individual virtues. The figurative distance created between those based in society and those who are individuals uncovers a morally affecting environment of judgement and acceptance. Those caught in the middle of society’s norms find it easy to believe certain things because their views are shared and supported by those around them. Individuals, on the other hand, must be strong…show more content…
Through the effects of sin Hawthorne places on character 's identities, he is able to contrast the differences between the perception of society and that of oneself. Ultimately, it is when people embrace their true selves that they can begin living a rewarding life. Through the acceptance of her sin, Hester is able to live a more respectable life. At the beginning of the novel, Hester believes what she and Dimmesdale did “had a consecration of its own” (170). Their sin, she believes, was brought to light by something bigger and more sacred than the both of them, love. It was not affected or influenced by society, but was real as it was created by a natural human tendency. Hester’s belief that her sin is not worthy of punishment, is clear when “she [repels] [the town beadle], by an action marked with natural dignity and force of character, and… free will” (49) as she exits the jail. Although strong in the belief that her sin was a consecration at the beginning, Hester quickly becomes doubtful of her innocence as she begins to believe what society says about the severity of her sin. Each time someone looks at her scarlet letter, “they branded it afresh into Hester’s soul” (77). The constant reminder and rumors about her sin make Hester question which story, her’s or society’s, is true. And each time, “she could scarcely refrain, yet always did refrain, from covering the symbol with her hand” (77) as she wants to
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