In Ch. 11
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The idea of "sin" in this society is used as a weapon to both humiliate and persecute. We see this in how both Hester and Pearl are treated. Sin is used to control people. "Sinners" who are actually caught are made an example. This instills fear in all hence keeping Puritan ideology power hierarchy intact. Dimmesdale internalizes his sin to persecute himself thus sin becomes a poison of his own making inwardly doing to himself what others are outwardly doing to Hester.