The Scarlet Letter

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American Literature


Bump in the Road

The Scarlet Letter is a book written by Nathaniel Hawthorn. It’s about a lady, Hester, who commits adultery with Reverend Dimmesdale. She was put on the scaffold and humiliated. While she was being embarrassed, she noticed her husband, Mr. Chilingsworth in the crowd. He came by to the prison and they talked. He was furious. He was out to get revenge. They asked her who the man was but she refused to answer. Forced, she wore an “A” on the front of her clothes to represent the sin she committed. She was great with the needle, so she less boring.

Hester committed adultery and was humiliated in front of a crowd. After she committed this sin, she realized she was pregnant. She was obligated to wear an “A” on her clothes so everyone knew what she did. She made it look presentable with her skill with a needle. The Bible says that we are not to commit adultery, it’s even in the 10 commandments, Exodus 20:14 to be exact. We are commanded not to do that, but she chose to anyway

Reverend Dimmesdale, also committed adultery, but he wasn’t punished. First he didn’t confess the sin that he was responsible for. He lived with the guilt knowing he should declare he should be punished too. Once again, the Bible says not to commit adultery. Also, James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” His unworthy actions led to him living in guilt and eventually dying.

Roger Chilingsworth, Hester’s husband, wanted to get revenge for what she did. Once he found out the guy that was partially responsible for the sin, he was getting payback. Once reverend Dimmesdale died, he didn’t know what to do. There’s a verse in the bible, Romans 12:19, and it says, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God‘s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” He should’ve left it up to God to do the avenging, not himself.

All three of these main characters had responsibility for some pretty big sins. All sin is equal in the eyes of God, but in my opinion there is one that is greater, Reverend Dimmesdale. He affected several people in this book. And I am sure he had preached on committing adultery at some point, and yet he did it. He didn’t even tell everyone that he was the one with Hester, he kept it all to himself. So if I had to choose, I would pick Dimmesdale since he affected many more people than Hester and Chillinsworth. Although Hester committed once of the same sins, she took the punishment and kept going in life. She didn’t let one bump on the road stop her.

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