Slade McCall The Scarlet LetterTheme and Text Analysis1o/23/19
What is the Theme of the Scarlet Letter?Sin does not define someone, their actions and morales do.
Quote:'We are not, Hester, the worst sinners in the world. There is one worse than even the polluted priest! That old man's revenge has been blacker than my sin. He has violated, in cold blood, the sanctity of a human heart. Thou and I, Hester, never did so!' (179).
This is a clear example of sin not defining a person, more so their actions. Hester and Dimmesdale did commit the sin of adultury, but they both have strong morales and try to be good. Dimmesdale is viewed almost as an angel, and Hester is a symbol of compassion and kindness throughout the Scarlet Letter. Chillingworth on the other hand has been very cruel and made the purpose of his life to get revenge on who ever the father of Pearl was. Him doing this caused pain to Dimmesdale, Hester, and Pearl, and although it is not necesarily a sin, it is a clear act of cruelty and hatred that shows Chillingworth's true character.
This scene is when Dimmesdale was confiding in Hester and Pearl about how they are sinners, and they saw an A in the sky. A is the letter of their sin, Adultery. Also, light was shining down on them as they mourned their mistake. The light symbolized that although they sinned, they are not horrible people, as the sin did not define their character, and people like Chillingworth are the real sinners.
Light shining on them
The A in the Scarlet Letter stand for Adultery, but it means much more than that. Throughout the book the meaning evolves, and it starts when Hester came out to stand on the scaffolding holding the Scarlet Letter that she made. It was very fancy and well-made. This showed how Hester owned up to her sin, and would take her punishment with grace.
Throughout this book the meaning of the Scarlet Letter evolved. It started to symbolize who Hester was, and became a symbol of strength, kindness, integrity. Hester proved throughout the Scarlet Letter that she was not defined by her sins, and that she could be much more than just a sinner because of her actions and morales
Hester's word choice throughout this conversation with Dimmesdale truly shows her character, as a compassionate and kind person. Words such as holy, truth, deeply, good, and peace all show Hester's kindness reaching out to others. It is undeniable that Hester is clearly someone of high moral character and not a sinner. I believe this diction creates a mood of a very kind and forgiving atmosphere. It feels as if her words can comfort you into believing that everything will turn out okay. This diction creates a tone of the author showing how Hester has proven as a character to be very kind and strong character who is not just a sinner, like a sense of redeeming herself for her past and achieving her goals.
“You have deeply and sorely repented. Your sin is left behind you, in the days long past. Your present life is not less holy, in very truth, than it seems in people’s eyes. Is there no reality in the penitence thus sealed and witnessed by good works? And wherefore should it not bring you peace?”