The Scarlet Letter

Original Sin

In Hawthorne's intricately woven tale The Scarlet Letter, his characters create a parallel theme with the Biblical story of Original Sin. By examining the characters and their interactions and insights about each other, one can examine the symbolic parallels with the Garden of Eden.

One aspect of the Garden of Eden theme is portrayed by the connection of Hester and Dimmesdale. Hester's story parallels Eve, the original mother of mankind, a woman exiled from the New Garden of Eden due to an unforgivable sin. She is doomed forever to walk outside the garden, no longer able to partake of the fruits of paradise, barred from reentry by seeming "divine intervention." Hester is the temptress of Dimmesdale, offering him the fruit of good and evil which, heretofore, removes all naivete and forces him to walk, tortured, through the world with the knowledge of right, wrong, and the magnitude of his sin seeming to accost him at each new turn of the dim path down which he walks.

Dimmesdale is a fallen hero, one of God's chosen, who has fallen from grace in the moment of his original sin. He, also, is excluded form society because once his eyes are opened with the knowledge of good and evil, he cannot remain a true member...

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