Hypocrisy is not only prevalent in present day but is also shown during the age of the Puritans. The Puritans may have given the impression of having lived a righteous and holy pure life, but in the end, they all fall victims to sin because of human nature and free will. The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne does an outstanding job of portraying the Puritans and their many struggles within their religious beliefs throughout their community. The society in which these main characters, Hester Prynne, Rodger Chillingworth who is Hester’s husband, and the minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, all live within the tight-knit of the Puritan community. Hester Prynne commits an act in which she is publicly embarrassed for and is forced to wear …show more content…
What know I of the minister’s heart? And as for the scarlet letter, I wear it for the sake of its gold thread!”(Hawthorne 549). In relation to this quote, Hester is being a hypocrite in two ways. The first way is that she is purposely holding back from telling Pearl who her real father is. If Hester sincerely loves Pearl, why can she not tell her the truth? Why can she not provide Pearl with a real answer? Hester is ignoring Pearl’s questions. The second way Hester shows hypocrisy in this quote is that she lies about the reason she wears the scarlet letter. She does not actually wear the scarlet letter just because of the gold threading. Hester wears it because she has committed a crime in the Puritan community which, consequently, requires her to have public humiliation. Once again, Hester withholds the true information that Pearl keeps questioning. Hester also does not truly believe that she had committed the sin of adultery because she did not believe she was truly in love with Chillingworth. How could this be? When you are married to someone you are married to them until divorced. Was she just looking for an excuse to justify her wrong doing of having an affair? Hester should have told her community how she truly felt about Dimmesdale and how sorry she was for her sin and asked for forgiveness. If the Puritans are such a religious and holy society than they would forgive her like God tells us to forgive people.
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The children In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter play a major role in the Puritan society. With their honest opinions of Hester and Pearl, the children are presented as more perceptive and more honest than adults. Due to their innocence, children are capable of expressing themselves without constraints; there are no laws or regulations that they are bounded by. As an adolescent go through the stages of life and grow older, they begin to be more conscious of the how they act as they are more aware of society and the things that are occurring in the world, creating a filter for their actions. When they remain as the children, on the other hand, are adventurous; they are still exploring the universe that seems to fill with mysteries that are bound to be solved. They tend to attach to the truth and they are not afraid to speak it freely. Children differ from adults in their potential for expressing these perceptions. With their obliviousness to the things that are actually going on around the town, children therefore react differently compared to the adults, who are more knowledgeable. Perceived to be immature, young children are presented as more perceptive and more honest than adults due to their innocence, how they are unaware of the reality and the crimes that are presented in society by the adults enables them to be blithe and not afraid of saying what they feel like. Due to their naivety, when they express what they perceive to be true, they do not get punished,
““There was witchcraft in little Pearl’s eyes, and her face, as she glanced upward at the minister, wore that naughty smile which made its expression frequently so elvish.” (Hawthorne 145) This, is a misleading description that Nathaniel Hawthorne depicts of Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne, in his classic novel The Scarlet Letter. Pearl is the living product of sin for her mother. Born out of wedlock, Pearl is a unique child that tends to be very moody and unpredictable. However, Pearl, at such a young age, demonstrates outstanding knowledge and exhibits curiosity to her mother’s scarlet letter, and the hypocrisy of Puritan society. Although Pearl portrays devilish characteristics and performs mischievous behaviour, she
As great effect as emotions can have on someone, even greater is the effect of how one reacts to his emotions. Arguably the two most influential of these emotions are guilt and anger. They can drive a man to madness or encourage actions of vindication. Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale are subject to this very notion in Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter. Hester simply accepted that what she had done was wrong, whereas Dimmesdale, being a man of high regard, did not want to accept the reality of what he did. Similar to Hester and Dimmesdale, Roger Chillingworth allows his emotions to influence his life; however, his influence came as the result of his anger. Throughout the book, Hawthorne documents how Dimmesdale and Hester 's
Why is sin important? It is believed that sin is important to people because their deity places guilt on their wrongdoings to show that those actions are not to be repeated. In contrary to this belief, there are people with religious views that hold no importance with sin. Depending on the individual’s religious views, sin can be a conflict between oneself and a “higher” being or it can not affect the individual at all. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Arthur Dimmesdale is an ordained Puritan priest that had committed a grave sin in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He had committed adultery with a married woman, Hester, the woman that is married to Roger Chillingworth. After Chillingworth has heard about this news, he seeks
Surveillance can be considered the act of being watched under a close eye and can have either a positive or negative effect on a person. Some individuals feel more at ease knowing that someone is always there watching which is to create a supposedly safe environment. Others feel pressure from society or their peers to live up to their respected positions and morals of the society, much like Dimmesdale, which causes extreme paranoia. In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Dimmesdale is an example that demonstrates negative effects that surveillance can have on a person. In the romance, Dimmesdale is faced with both his own surveillance and Chillingworth’s surveillance. However, Dimmesdale’s own scrutiny causes more damage to himself than Chillingworth’s does.
To start the book, we find that a young woman has committed adultery and when standing in front of a mocking crowd, she is ashamed of her actions. Continuing through the book we find that the adulteress, Hester Prynne, displays many examples of positive outcomes arising from negative situations. She becomes more and more aware of the faults of society and becomes wiser as she deals with the consequences of her actions. Even though Hester made a terrible decision that came with many extremely negative effects, she gained personality traits, perceptions, and people that rose from her mistake.
All of the major characters in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne are dynamic and go through some form of character development. Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale, who are at the forefront of the central conflict in the plot of the novel, are no exception. While their respective evolutions in character were noticeably different, each was emphasized by the three scaffold scenes. The differences of Hester and Dimmesdale’s respective character developments are highlighted and emphasized by the three scaffold scenes in the novel.
The novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, many of the main characters suffer from toils of sin. Especially Arthur Dimmesdale, the local puritan clergyman who has committed adultery and can 't admit to the people of the town in Boston what he has done. He lived under a strict society where the system and all of its components were based on God. He suffers from this because he values the Puritan way. Arthur Dimmesdale does not come out for many reasons and that isn 't right, which makes him a coward throughout the novel.
A child stealing candy from the bowl when she knows she isn’t supposed to; a drug addict coming forward to admit he has a terrible plight; a student cheating on their final exam after choosing not to study; a young girl admitting to pushing another child down on the playground; a husband cheating on his wife. Some stories of these subjects are known by all, able to heal and move forward with a clear conscience, while others are sheltered within them, left to fester and grow in destructiveness. All of these examples portray a subject either bound, or given peace by the truth of something depending on whether it is concealed or uncovered. The power and significance of exposed/hidden truth is something utilized in writing all the time when an
In the Scarlet Letter there are characters that are important to the novel; however there is one specific character that relates to the topic of the story is Arthur Dimmesdale. The character Arthur Dimmesdale is a respected minster in Boston. However even though, Arthur Dimmesdale is a minister and preaches against sin to his congregation, he commits the ultimate sin with a young married woman named Hester Pryne. For punishment Hester Pryne becomes pregnant and shunned from public society, Dimmesdale is forced to live with guilt and later in the novel dies from the same sin within his body. Critics that have read the Scarlet letter would argue that Dimmesdale is a weak or ennobled character because he didn’t tell the community of his sinful crime. Another characteristic that critics would agree on is that Dimmesdale was a hypocrite. Arthur Dimmesdale is a character that is weak and hypocritical to his own belief.
Hester’s punishment goes beyond the symbolism of the scarlet letter A she must wear on her chest, to the point where she is stripped of her humanity and is completely objectified, lowered to the level of a savage animal, unable to deny her base desires. However, if Hester had been a man, no one would have thought all too much of it, and let it go sooner. The only reason people reacted so strongly to finding out that Dimmesdale was the person Hester cheated with is because he’s a man of the cloth and also because he died right after confessing. In fact, the puritan patriarchs and some others defended that Dimmesdale’s confession was an allegorical performance and merely a continuation of his moving
The eighteenth-century author, Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. He was most famous for his writings The Scarlet Letter, “Young Goodman Brown,” “The Minister’s Black Veil” and an abundant array of other books and short stories. The stories that are mentioned contain a copious amount of symbolism throughout the entirety of each book. All the stories that he ever wrote have an underlying meaning and the symbolism was hidden within in the names, characters, places, and actions that happened in the books and helped the readers to have a greater understanding about the Puritan lifestyle and the Bible. The dictionary definition of symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. A few
“The Scarlet Letter” mainly revolves around sin and hypocrisy. Every character in some way, shape or form is considered a hypocrite to some level/degree. To start from the top and work our way downward, the officials. The officials in this book have such horrid views of Hester. You'd think that they have some sense of compassion or show remorse for Hester but that was never the case. Overtime, it all dulled down – her sin wasn't a big deal as opposed to when it first occurred. Her sin wasn't forgotten but the depth in actions in which people would take to make sure she felt miserable, faded away in quite sometime. The main characters each sin – the words in which Hawthorne uses in their dialect gives you a taste of their sins. Even the character to which is highly praised by society is a sinner. Roger Chillingworth, Hester Prynne and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale are the perfect examples of hypocrisy in “The Scarlet Letter.” The way they're introduced in the story and the way the story carries them out to be is outrageous. You begin to question their motivates entirely.
The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne was set during the 1600s in a New England town during what is now known as the Puritan past of America. In the novel, the Puritan religion was not only observed but criticized as well. During this time, the Puritans were an extremely religious group of Protestants that were known for their intolerance of other religions and their strict guidelines for a righteous lifestyle that often lead to violence or cruel forms of punishment. Nathaniel Hawthorne is a perfect portrayal of a Puritan historian because he himself was born as a Puritan and witnessed first-hand the extreme pressures associated with the Puritan religion to include arguments about the Puritan society and the treatment endured within the religion. Although The Scarlet Letter was set in the 1600s, the novel was written in the 1840s and dealt with issues during the Antebellum Era specifically when it came to the Women’s Movement and the Second Great Awakening.
Susan Block once said that “Puritans, like poachers, shoot to kill your inner bonobo.” Nathaniel Hawthorne demonstrates a Puritan society that ridicules a young woman named Hester Prynne for committing adultery and not disclosing the name of the man who fathered her child in his Gothic Romance novel entitled The Scarlet Letter. The father, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, reveals this persona to the collective that he is a dutiful minister; however, he achieves individuation when he rejects Calvinism and redefined his faith after a troublesome battle with his inner self. His endeavor takes a toll on him mentally, physically, and emotionally as he struggles to seek a way to rid the guilt that is eating him alive.