The Scarlet Letter

Perception Blanketed by Passion

In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester and Dimmesdale are entangled in self-delusion because they are both caught up in a false interpretation of their respective sins and in an opaque vision of a better life. Hester is confused by her own interpretation of the Scarlet Letter, and Dimmesdale is caught up in Hester's inspiring words for a better life.

Hester is disillusioned by the fact that she thinks her punishment and the burdens of her punishment will evaporate along with the removal of the Scarlet Letter. She feels as if she has done her share of penance. Hester asks Dimmesdale why they should "linger upon [the sin] now when "[she] could undo it all" She believes that they should not dwell on their sin and that the sin can be obliterated by literally ripping off the Letter. Hester also believes that she can "undo it all" by removing the Letter off her chest. The situation stated here shows that her delusion gives way to the misleading on her part. After removing the Letter, Hester feels "exquisite relief," a feeling that she had not "known the weight." Hester feels as if a burden is lifted from her shoulders; this is her freedom. But more importantly, Hester...

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