Books and Movies Reviews

The Scarlett Letter

When one commits a sin, the heart is sometimes filled with guilt and shame.If the sin is not confessed, the truth can eat away at the soul.Not only does it cause internal pain, but it also reflects upon other people.In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne shows how guilty consciences and shame can affect people's daily lives.
Reverend Dimmesdale is plagued by the guilt and shame of the terrible sin he committed.Dimmesdale is terrified of his sin being discovered for fear of being hanged.The reverend's entire life revolves around this sin.Mr. Dimmesdale attempts to cleanse himself by going into the "secret closet, under lock and key" (133) where he whips himself as a form of self-punishment.Even through all of his attempts, Reverend Dimmesdale "can not purify himself"(133).The pain and frustration of not being able to confess his sin forces the reverend into a spiral of shame and guilt.
Hester Prynne is a young maiden who, after committing the sin of adultery, is forced to wear a letter "so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom"(51).At one point, she looks down at the Scarlet letter and touches it "to assure herself that the infant and the shame were real" (56).She carries the letter of shame on her chest for the rest of her life.People see the letter on her chest and look the other way, and because of the ever present letter, Hester has no friends and is condemned to live in solitude.Hester's life is deeply affected by the letter she is forced to wear as a symbol of the sin she commits as a young woman.
Roger Chillingworth becomes obsessed with an attempt to get Dimmesdale to confess the truth about his sin.He has "a terrible fascination…necessity seized the old man within its gripe and never set him free"(118).The obsession takes over Chillingworth's life.Roger Chillingworth be


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