Novel about sin

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The puritans were fascinated with the effect of sin upon the human heart.Nathaniel Hawthorne, who is a puritan writer, considers the effect of sin upon the human heart fascinating as well. The Scarlet Letter is not a novel about adultery but a study of the effects of sin on the hearts and minds of Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth.
Sin is a double-edged sword in the life of Hester Prynne.The effects of sin on her character are not only defining and powerful, but they are also ambivalent.The most obvious effect of son on her is that it isolates her from her community.We see this from the very beginning of the story, when wefirst encounter her standing alone on the platform.This is not the last time we see her standing alone this situation recurs throughout the story.The fact that she is labeled as an adulteress is a large reason as to why she is separated from society.She reacts to this with a blush of shame and a look of defiance at the same time.Her reaction to the sin and societies opinion of that sin continues throughout the book, as well as her growing feeling of shame and repentance. After the scaffold scene, Hester seemingly conforms to the puritanical code of society.She does works of penance and good will that appear as if she is trying to atone for her sins and faults.This seemingly obvious admission of sin is nothing less than hypocritical.She acknowledged any truth in societies accusations of her love as a vile crime. She admits this when she says to Dimmesdale "what we did had a consecration of its own. We felt it so! We said so to each other! (Hawthorne 186)." Hester continues her "repentance" for her sin, but in her mind still believes that what they did was not wrong.She believes this so fervently that she actually convinces Dimmesdale to leave Boston and goto Europe with her and Pearl.She and Pearl are the only ones who actually make it to Europe.