A Reflection On Sin And Repentance Essay

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A Reflection On Sin And Repentance Essay, Research Paper A Reflection on Sin and Repentance Yin Hua Nathaniel Hawthorne is certainly at his best when writing about sin, the supernatural and the New England past. Among all his works dealing with sin, The Scarlet Letter is unanimously considered to be his most successful attempt. In this nineteenth-century American classic, the author is predominantly concerned with the moral, emotional and psychological effect of sin on the people in general and those complicated in it in particular. What baffles my best understanding is how the writer is trying to interpret the sin in this tragedy. Is sin degrading or can it occasionally be elevating? To explore the different roles that sin plays on the three major characters of the love

affair, we then need to take a look at the interpersonal relationships between them. The Interpersonal Relationship Legal is the marriage between Hester Prynne and Roger Chillingworth, but it is not a happy one. While the aged man deludes himself with the idea that intellectual talents might shade his uninviting appearance in a young girl??s fantasy, Hester declares that she feels no love, nor feigns any. If at the very beginning the matrimonial scale is thus unbalanced, it is not at all surprising for us to observe the hatred blazing at the bosom of the husband towards the two culprits who have inflicted upon him the deepest and most irreparable injury. Hester and Dimmesdale, having committed adultery, share true love. Yet, the Puritan society of that time can not bear such a

transgression of a married woman, hence her subsequent life of public ignominy. Neither can Dimmesdale enjoy peace after the adultery is committed. At least his own conscience, being a clergyman, will not leave him alone. Their story is sad to such a degree that one cannot help sympathizing or even respecting them just as Hawthorne comments in the book: Love, whether newly born, or aroused from a death-like slumber, must always create a sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, that it overflows upon the outward world. (P.243) At the bottom of the triangle, Chillingworth and Dimmesdale, the two rivals in love, consciously and unconsciously destroy each other. According to Richard Chase, ??They are the two aspects of the will which confused Puritan thought in New

England??the active and the inactive.?? (P. 77) When Chillingworth unites intellect with will and coldly with sinister motives analyses Dimmesdale, the latter is totally blinded about his true character, and continues to receive him as the most intimate friend! Finishing the book from cover to cover, one can easily realize that instead of unfolding the love as well as the sin of the story, Hawthorne seems to be obsessed with the moral and psychological results of sin??the isolation and morbidity, the distortion and thwarting of the emotional life. Yet, besides these, can sin also create something good, something desirable in people? Hester: Sin??A doorway to virtue In the opening chapters the scarlet A is the object of hundreds of eyes. The absolute morality of the Puritan

community demands Hester??s perpetual penance in the wearing of the letter. Nevertheless, the very way she makes the symbol betrays her: It was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy, that it had the effect of a last and fitting decoration to the apparel which she wore; and which was a splendor in accordance with the taste of the age, but greatly beyond what was allowed by the sumptuary regulations of the colony. It had the effect of a spell taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and enclosing her in a sphere by herself. (P.73-74) By now, we see in front of us a woman with state and dignity, a woman in the desperate recklessness of her mood, make a pride out of what the authority meant for a punishment. Is she really