Man's Unforgivable Sin (The scarlet Letter)

Essay by awalker9867 December 2002

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Man's Unforgivable Sin

The society we live in today is one very different then in Boston during the 1600's. Our technology, our educational systems, our morals, and even the way in which we think is different. However, one thing which has remained the same is our nature as humans. In the novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne has some interesting views on the human heart. Although Hawthorne believes in the existence of good and evil, he understands that human beings are capable of making mistakes, and that the only unforgivable sin is hatred and maliciousness towards others as evidenced by the actions of Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth throughout the book.

Hester Prynne, in the eyes of the Puritan society she lived in, was by no means a saint. However, Hawthorne is able to prove to the reader that she is also by no means an evil person. She had broken the moral codes of the Puritans by committing adultery, which would give the impression that she was a person who was beneath the societies high standards.

But through her good deeds that she dedicated herself too, she was able to have some redemption. "Much of the time which she might readily have applied to the better effort of her art, she employed in making coarse garments for the poor" (Hawthorne 87). Deep in her heart, she has good intentions, as noted by her helping the poor instead of herself. What is more important though, which Hawthorne presses upon the reader, is fact that although Hester had sinned, she was able to love and care for others, and in the end she had led a full life. She was often sought after for consultation because of all the hardships she had endured (Hawthorne 244) and it is said clearly in...