The Scarlet Letter Morality Issue
Uploaded by JarJarBinks on Jul 05, 2004
The Morality Issue
Through Hawthorne, the book The Scarlet Letter is written about love, sin, and most of all morals. Hawthorne creates many different perspectives on characters and their views. His vivid descriptions of the main trio of characters allow the reader to make there own decisions on who is morally right or wrong. Is Hester a victim, or a temptress, or maybe Dimmesdale is in the wrong for falling for the temptress. Chillingworth, who is at first thought to be the victim, but in the end the villain? Through Hawthorne’s writing we the reader must decide on the morality issue among Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth.
Hester, who is essentially the main character in The Scarlet Letter, therefore, is the most vividly described character in the book. In committing an act so looked down upon by her community in Salem, she must be burdened by an "A" on her chest. As Hester suffered greatly for her transgression, the citizens suffered as well, whether knowing or not, through their hypocritical and cruel punishment. She was morally wrong in what she did, but Hester Prynne was honest enough to herself to reveal the adulterous acts that she committed. She became more accepted in her community as she accepted herself and the "A" on her chest. We all have sins, but if we don not admit to our sins we won’t be forgiven. The reverend Dimmesdale said "But still, me thinks, it must needs be better for the sufferer to be free to show his pain, as this poor woman Hester is, than to cover it all up in his heart." This statement is true because she because she began to reconstruct her life. The community began calling her sister of Mercy, and the "A" was said to stand for "Able." Though Hester was morally wrong in her act, she was morally right in accepting her wrong.
This leads us to the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, the man who assisted in ruining Hester’s reputation. Though, a holy man, and a man who is very much revered by the people of Salem, he commits a sin in which goes totally against the words he preaches. His choice to keep his black secret locked deep within his soul resulted in the deterioration of his health. Each time he would deliver a sermon to his congregation, he grew weaker and more ashamed of what he did. In doing...