.. because, thenceforward, no good can be achieved by them, no evil of the past be redeemed by better service. So, to their own unutterable torment, they go among their fellow creatures looking pure as new-fallen snow while their hearts are all looking speckled and spotted with iniquity of which they cannot rid themselves. Dimmesdales triumphant day, when he finally confesses the truth, comes on Election Day. After giving the greatest sermon of his life, he climbs the scaffold.
It is on the very scaffold that he first pleaded with Hester to reveal his identity that he now releases his secret. Chillingworths remarks show the importance of Dimmesdales confession: Hadst thou sought the world earth over, there was no place so secret,–no high place not lowly place where thou couldst have escaped me,–save on this very scaffold! I think Dimmesdale has not committed the worst sin of the book, even though he inflicted much pain onto himself over guilt and remorse. Hawthorne wanted to see what would happen if he created a character who struggled to hide a terrible sin deep in his heart, but also believed in a God that sees and loves the truth. This is what Arthur Dimmesdale thought and felt. His confession helped save his soul.
Among many morals which press upon us from the poor ministers miserable experience, we put only this into a sentence: Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred! Roger Chillingworth commits the greatest sin. At first glance, Chillingworth seems to be sinned against, not a sinner. His first sin is one against nature, and Hester more specifically. It was committed the day he married Hester. He knew she did not love him, and he was not fit to make her a proper husband.
He did not wrong her on purpose. Chillingworth does look back and sympathize. It seemed not so wild a dream,–old as I was, and sombre as I was, and misshapen as I was,–that the simple bliss, which is scattered far and wide, for all mankind to gather up, might yet be mine. And so, Hester, I drew thee into my heart, into its innermost chamber, and sought to warm thee by the warmth which thy presence made there! Chillingworths ignorance does not even excuse him. He sinned and knows it: Mine was the first wrong, when I betrayed thy budding youth into a false and unnatural relation with my decay. Hester knows he sinned also. She knew she was very young when she married him.
His admittance to persuading her to be with him comes as no surprise to Hester. Chillingworth is a classic case of that sin Hawthorne developed called the unpardonable sin. For seven years, Chillingworths purpose is to search out and torment the man who has betrayed him. He has become a leech and sucks the life out of Dimmesdale. Vengeance is what he is obsessed with. In the process of carrying out his own vengeance, he destroys himself. He attempts to play God, and instead turns into a devil.
A large number..affirmed that Roger Chillingworths aspect had undergone a remarkable change while he had dwelt in town, and especially since his abode with Mr. Dimmesdale. At first his expression had been calm, meditative, scholar-like. Now, there was something ugly and evil in his face, which they had not previously noticed, and which grew still the more obvious to sight the oftener they looked upon him. Hester begins to feel that Chillingworths transformation is her fault.
He must assume the responsibility for having destroyed himself. It is he who surrendered his human sympathies in his quest for revenge. Chillingworths worst sin is violating the sanctity of the human heart. He suffers the most, dying shortly after Dimmesdales death. His vengeance was all that was driving him forward. It was his sole purpose for living.
All his strength and energy–all his vital and intellectual force–seemed at once to desert him insomuch that he positively withered up, shrivelled away, and almost vanished from mortal sight, like an uprooted weed that lies wilting in the sun. This unhappy man had made the very principle of his life to consist of the pursuit and systematic exercise of revenge and when, by its completest triumph and consummation, that evil principle was left no further material to support it, when, in short, there was no more Devils work on earth for him to do so.. The townspeople made Hesters situation even worse. They punished her for committing a sin, even though they committed sins themselves. The townspeople were then guilty of hypocrisy.
The worst sin committed by the townspeople is the isolation they put Hester through. She was at a point where she would not go out in the daytime, just to avoid the people. Wearing her sin on her chest made the townspeople isolate her. They were all clear hypocrites for being the same people who went to church weekly, repenting their own sins. Nathaniel Hawthorne was immersed in sin, its wages, and the redemption of sin. Hawthorne was a Puritan descendant, a child to a strong tradition of sin.
Puritan theology was based upon the conviction of sins. The Scarlet Letter is a study of the effects of sin on the hearts and mind of each of Hawthornes characters. Hester and Dimmesdale seek redemption. Chillingworth, the worst sinner of the story, never seeks redemption. Hawthorne has written one of the first symbolic novels in American history. One of the most obvious symbols of sin in the story was Pearl. Pearl is the embodiment of her parents sin. She is the incarnate of the letter A on Hesters chest.
Pearl also is Hesters constant reminder that she has committed a great sin. Pearl almost seemed inhuman until the end of the novel. Lastly, I feel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter is an almost historical novel of the Puritan society, and its conviction of sin, in his view and research. English Essays.