The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1414 Words6 Pages
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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