The Punishment Doesnt Always Fit the Crime The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a book about Hester Prynne, a woman whose one night of passion leads to a lifetime of punishment. It takes place in a Puritan society in the New World during the 17th century. Hester commits adultery with the Reverend Dimmesdale and is sentenced to wear a letter A on her bosom for the rest of her life. Dimmesdale, however, does not admit to his sin and this leads him to a life of agony and torture within himself. At one point, the Reverend even says to Hester that she is lucky to be wearing the scarlet letter on her chest for all to see. Some might believe that he is lucky to have gotten away with this sin and that he should keep quiet and just try to go on leading a normal life.
The Reverend feels differently. He wishes he were the one to have gotten punished because self-punishment is far worse than any other punishment that can be given from anyone or anything. This sin that he has gotten away with is really eating away at the Reverend to the point where he cant live with himself anymore. Hester, wearing the letter A, is willing to accept her punishment and therefore able to move on in her life. She is paying the price for her sin. The Reverend wasnt punished for his sin and cant move on.
He is stuck at this obstacle in his life that cant be hurdled until confronted and yet he doesnt have the courage to face it. The town did not punish the Reverend Dimmesdale but he is punishing himself. By not admitting his sin, he is letting it control his life. Everything he says or does is in the shadow of this sin. He cant get away from it. Slowly it is destroying him, not just mentally, but also physically.
Scarlet Letter- Results of Sin By: Alan Eugene Sims, Jr. There are many ways to interpret literature. Nathaniel Hawthorne is considered a very influential writer of the American Transcendentalist era; his writing deals a lot with the Puritan times, including his famous novel, The Scarlet Letter. The Scarlet Letter deals with the adulterous sin of Hester Prynne and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, the ...
When Governor Bellingham, Mr. Wilson, and Roger Chillingworth were meeting with Hester to discuss taking away her daughter Pearl, Hester insists that Dimmesdale do something. at once he came forward, pale, and holding his heart.(104) This sin has now become more than a sin. It is a disease, which is slowly, painfully killing the Reverend. Dimmesdale is now in a state where his failing health is noticeable to other people. Whether it was his failing health or whatever the cause might be, his large dark eyes had a world of pain in their troubled and melancholy depth (104).
By looking into his eyes you can tell it is not just the cold or flue that is making the Reverend sick, it is something deeper; something that is killing him from the inside; something that he wants so desperately to be rid of but feels he cant. The Reverend is punishing himself by allowing his sin to stay a secret. As long as this stays a secret the Reverend will continue to slowly deteriorate till he mentally and physically breaks down. Although the original punishment for adultery was death, the town made an exception for Hester. The punishment might seem far less severe; however, the cruel intentions were the same. Hester, in spite of the towns intentions, makes the letter A a part of who she is.
She overcomes this belief that she has to be ashamed of the letter and actually tries her hardest to make it noticeable by decorating it. She accepts herself for who she is and is not hiding anything from anyone. Because she was punished she was able to move on with her life. Dimmesdale, on the other hand, was not punished so he carries this guilt and shame around with him. This is what is killing him. The fact that he never admitted his sin makes it unable for him to accept himself.
The Reverend; however, does have his own scarlet letter to deal with. Any slight alarm or other sudden accident, to put his hand over his heart, with first a flush and then a paleness indictive of pain (110).
Scarlet Letter By: Jennifer Popp E-mail: Hester Prynne was a beautiful, young, tall woman with shiny dark hair, piercing black eyes, and a beautiful complexion. She was living in Amsterdam with her husband, Roger Chillingworth, until he sent her to America alone while he cleared up business matters. In America, Hester had a love affair with Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and realized she was pregnant ...
The Reverends letter is on his inside. His letter is the physical pain he feels in his heart due to the secret that he has kept there for so long. He can ask no one else to heal this pain he has for he knows the only way to rid himself of it is to tell his secret. The Reverends letter will drive him to his deathbed unless he frees himself of his guilt by admitting his secret.
Eventually, after many years, Hester becomes a respected citizen of the town. A species of general regard had ultimately grown up in reference to Hester Pyrnne (147) The people believed she had served her time for her sin and that she had done it unselfishly and nobly. This respect from the town was what Dimmesdale wanted. He did have their respect as a Reverend but not as a man who had committed adultery. He wanted to know if he could be forgiven for the sin he had committed. This is why at the end of the book he makes a great effort to let everyone know, before he died, the truth about him and Hester.
He wanted to rid himself of the shame and guilt that he felt for never letting anyone know that he was the guilty one. People of New England! ye that hath loved me-ye that hath deemed me holy. At last I stand upon the spot where, seven years since I should have stood (231).
Dimmesdale was letting them know that he realized that what he did was wrong and should had been taken care of seven years earlier. He had let Hester and even Pearl take the fall and had sat back and done nothing when they were being punished. He even had the audacity to tell the father of the child to show himself and admit his sin.
Now, when he realized he was dying, he wanted to let everyone know that he had made a mistake. That the man the town had put their faith in and looked up to was actually a hypocrite and a sinner. Dimmesdale was looking for a final forgiveness from the town before he would have to face God and ask for his forgiveness. Even though Hester had to wear the Scarlet Letter A on her chest for all to see and sneer at, she went through a lot less pain both mentally and physically then Dimmesdale. When Dimmesdale decided to keep his secret to himself he decided to live a life full of guilt, shame, and remorse. After a while, he realized that by keeping his secret to himself he was punishing himself and that was far worse than any punishment he could have received from the town. Hester was able to accept who she was and what she had done because she admitted it. Dimmesdale on the other hand couldnt accept himself for who he was because he was living a lie.
CHARACTERS ROGER CHILLINGWORTH - In chapters ten through twelve, Roger Chillingworth's devilish ways and soul match his hideous and horrible physique. He projects his evil nature and is at his peak of revenge towards the reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. He satisfies his sinful yearnings to diminish Dimmesdale physically and emotionally by drowning him in his own sin. ARTHUR DIMMESDALE - It is obvious ...
Everything good about him was overshadowed by this lie. It wasnt long after he mentally started to break down that his physical health started to deteriorate. This secret inside him that he kept there for seven long years eventually killed him.
After my first run at home since being at Prin, I was able to recognize the importance of being still and listening to divine love. I used to hear the phrase be still and I would believe that it meant to be physically immobile. While running, I began to have problems with cramps, which used to occur a while back.
Although I tried to think good thoughts about my relationship to God, the physical discomfort seemed to win most of my attention. So many thoughts came to me, quotes from the Science and Health, verses from the Hymnal, and random ideas that I learned throughout my Sunday School experiences. While these were all good thoughts, I felt like I couldnt grasp any of them. Then the thought came to me to be still; not physically still, but mentally still. I needed to settle down and sort through my thoughts. First, I repeated the Scientific Statement of Being outloud.
It seemed stronger and more convincing to say it outloud and declare my oneness with God than to quietly repeat it in my head. After a few times of saying it outloud, I felt more comfortable physically. I began to think about my reasons and motives for running and excersising. Was I out there to prove to my parents and family about how far and how fast I could run? Was I out there to change the physical body? Or was I runnign to express Gods strength, power and grace? It occurred to me today why I like to run. Everytime that I go out to excersise, I come back with a little better grasp on my relationship to God. Today was a great oppurtunity for me to overcome the false claim that I am susceptible to everything that error, or mortal mind is a part of. I am Gods PERFECT reflection and therefore can only express that perfection!!!.
Firstly, we must understand what is meant by ‘good’ well good is that which is morally right. With God it is said in the bible “oh give thanks to the lord, for he is good; for His loving-kindness is everlasting (Psalms), another way is the 10 commandments which shows God setting the standard of what is morally right and wrong. Another way of showing of how ‘God is good’ is by creation in genesis 1 ...