Due to the guilt emanating from his sin, Dimmesdale becomes weak, thin and emaciated (111). Further, Dimmesdale shows signs of pain. Hence, the act of sin affects the character’s body and soul. On the other hand, the act of sin affects Hester differently. She seems to be okay from her outward appearance. The only indication of sin is the scarlet letter. However, she is suffering internally. Also, Hester accepts her sin and the subsequent punishment with ease. This acceptance takes the puritans aback since the scarlet letter was supposed to shame her. As such, she was supposed to be ashamed of her actions, instead of embracing the punishment wholly and gracefully (Bercovitch, xxviii). Whereas Dimmesdale grows thin and becomes emaciated, Hester still remains beautiful. She goes a step further to decorate a letter A on her gown’s breast. Therefore, the scarlet letter which is supposed to be a mark of sin and a sign of shame becomes beautiful. The ease and ready embrace of her sin and punishment can be argued to show that Hester does not view her act as a sin since she was not a puritan like her community. This can explain why she has not been adversely affected by the act of adultery. The Theme of Sin in The Scarlet Letter.
Bercovitch, Sacvan. The Office of the Scarlet Letter. Transaction Publishers, 2013.
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Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The scarlet letter. Simon and Schuster, 2004.
Hummer, Theo, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Scarlet Letter. Insight Publications, 2011.
Sulistyowarni, Yuni Eko. Hester’s Effort Attaining Love In Roland Joffe’s The Scarlet Letter Movie (1995): An Existentialist Approach. Diss. Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta, 2010.
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