The Effects And Implications Of Sin In The Scarlet Letter



Sin is the transgression of a moral code designated by either
society or the transgressor. The Puritans of Boston in the novel, The
Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, establish a rigid moral code by
which to purge their society of deviants. As this society is inherently
theocratic, the beliefs and restrictions established by religion are not
only incorporated into law but constitute all law. In this manner, the
moral code of the Puritan society thoroughly pervades the lives of its
individuals, and any presence of iniquity is felt in all aspects of their
lives. In The Scarlet Letter, the characters' lives are controlled by the
sin they commit.
Hester Prynne's adultery causes her ...

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fear.” In addition to the physical
separation, a more intangible manner of exclusion also exists, in that
Hester becomes a pariah. She is subject to derision and malice from the
lowliest of vagrants to the most genteel of individuals of the community,
though many are often the recipients of her care and attention: “The
poor...whom she sought out to be the objects of her bounty, often reviled
the hand that was stretched forth to succor them...Dames of elevated rank,
likewise, were accustomed to distill drops of bitterness into her heart.”
Hester cannot feel any sort of kinship with the townspeople in light of the
treatment she receives from them, thus alienating her even further from
Puritan society. Formerly an inhabitant within the bounds of the community
as well as a member of the community, she is now outcast in both respects.
Just as the act of adultery is pivotal in Hester's life, this sin effects a
similar manipulation of Arthur Dimmesdale's life.
Dimmesdale's guilt ...

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Added: 3/3/2006 03:20:10 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 817
Pages: 3

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