Guilt & Innocence in The Scarlet Letter Knowledge and sin connect In the Jude-Christian tradition In the story of Adam and Eve. Sin becomes the outcome in the story of Adam and Eve when they get thrown out of the Garden of Eden. After their banishment from the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve must work and bear children. Hester Prone and Arthur Timescale experience similar situations as Adam and Eve in the novel _ The Scarlet Letter _ written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. For Hester, the scarlet letter becomes her ticket to go places no one else would dare go to.
However, for Timescale, the weight of his in gives him close and personal sympathy with the sinful brotherhood of mankind, so he feels a kinship with them. Hester and Timescale reflect on their own sinfulness on a daily basis and strive to resolve it with their own knowledge. In the novel _ The Scarlet Letter = Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays the theme of guilt and innocence through Hester Prone, Reverend Timescale, and Pearl to show that sometimes guilt or innocence Is a conscious decision.
Nathaniel Hawthorne establishes the theme of guilt and innocence throughout the novel by displaying how Reverend Damselfly’s guilt affects him. In Chapter Ten, Roger Chlorinating and Reverend Timescale talk about why black weeds would spring up in a buried heart of a dead man to represent an unspoken crime. Reverend Timescale speaks that no power above the Divine mercy reveals the secrets that bury with a human heart. The minister replied, “The heart making Itself guilty of such secrets, must perforce hold them. Until the day when all hidden things shall be revealed” (Hawthorne 118). Reverend Timescale says that the heart forces itself to feel guilty for keeping those secrets concealed in itself. The heart must inevitably old those secrets in itself until judgment day when all hidden things reveal themselves. A person’s own impression of sin can keep him/her away from making the right decision like Reverend Timescale. True blockage from his own logic of crime prevents Reverend Timescale from meeting Hester and Pearl on the scaffold, which points him towards adding to his sin (Bloom 16).
Reverend Damselfly’s sense of personal sin becomes too overwhelming for him from the pressures as a minister. He does not stand next to Hester and Pearl on the scaffold since his label as a minister keeps him form admitting to his sin. In Chapter 12, at nighttime, Reverend Timescale goes out to get a reasonable perspective of what it would maybe feel like to stand on the scaffold. He believes that no one except him walks the streets at that late hour, but he finds Reverend Mr.. Wilson walking past him to his home from Governor Winthrop death-bed.
The narrator describes, “And thus, while standing on the scaffold, in this vain show of expiation, Mr.. Timescale was overcome with a great horror of mind, as if the universe were gazing at a scarlet token on his naked breast, right over his heart” (Hawthorne 134). Reverend Timescale feels as if something revealed his guilt and sin to the universe. He does not want others to know of his guilt, but rather of his pure heart and Innocent mind. Novel by exhibiting how Reverend Timescale allows his guilt to affect him and his actions.
In Chapter 12, Reverend Timescale stands on the scaffold that Hester Prone stood on seven years earlier. Hester Prone comes from Governor Winthrop house to find Reverend Timescale on her way home. “Come up hither, Hester, thou and little Pearl,” said the Reverend Mr.. Timescale. “Ye have both been here before, but I was not with you. Come up hither once again, and we will stand all three together” (Hawthorne 138). Reverend Timescale finally reveals the guilt that he kept to himself for seven years. He admits that he sinned and will stand by his guilty partner when he feels the need to.
In Chapter Ten, Roger Chlorinating and Reverend Timescale argue about whether or not a man should reveal his secrets to rid themselves of the unutterable guilt. They cannot agree on why a man would not get rid of his guilt sooner. The clergyman says, “Why should a wretched man, guilty, we Nail say, of murder, prefer to keep the dead corpse buried in his own heart, rather Han fling it forth at once, and let the universe take care of it” (Hawthorne 119). A man guilty of murder may prefer to keep it buried in his own heart because he knows the results would label him as sinful and evil.
Man does not want others to know him as sinner, but as an innocent churchgoer. The importance of sin in the society where Timescale lives seems to center around the townspeople’s lives and beliefs. Hawthorne writes his story covering the fundamental statement that sin becomes extremely important as within the days and philosophies of the earliest Puritans Bimbo 10). Puritans believe that because public lives and private lives link together, sins of friends and associates could taint one’s name, like guilt by association.
The public holds Timescale high in society and mark him with great importance. Novel by demonstrating how Hester Prone deals with her guilt from the sin she commits. In Chapter Two, the narrator describes the scene of Hester Prone walking out of the prison into the daylight. Hester reaction as she walks out of the prison into the crowd of people on her way to the market-place illustrates her motherly instincts. The young mother stands before the crowd with an expression that looks as f she might grasp the infant close to her chest; not to protect the infant, but hide an item sewn onto her dress.
She quickly realizes that she cannot hide the shame sewn onto her dress with the shame she holds in her arms, and she then gazes around at the townspeople. A fine red letter A surrounded by fancy sewing of gold thread appears on her chest (Hawthorne 47). The young woman knows of the guilt and shame placed upon her, figuratively and literally. She knows it figuratively by the guilt and shame of having an affair. Literally by the scarlet red letter “A” sewn onto her gown with gold thread.
She will not allow others to place fault on her for covering up or taking off the letter “A” from her clothing, giving her some sense innocence. In Chapter Three, Reverend Mr.. Wilson tries to pressure and persuade Hester into giving up the name of the father of her baby. She refuses to speak of his name because she does not want him to bear the burden of the guilt. Reverend Mr.. Wilson harshly cries out at Hester that she should not sin further than the limits of Heaven’s fellow sinner. He bargains with her that she can take the scarlet letter off her breast f she reveals his name.
She refuses to speak the name or take the scarlet letter off her breast. Hester will bear the burden of his guilt and hers so that he can feel innocent and free (Hawthorne 61). Reverend Mr.. Wilson tries to find out what man committed the sin with Hester and now should label himself as a father of her child. She knows that unless she speaks his name he will not need to feel guilty. Hester Prone stands up and fights for what she believes in, instead of allowing herself to become vulnerable. The issue of who controls the letter, and the vulnerability of
Hester identity, occurs at the end of the first scene, when the Reverend Mr.. Wilson tries to persuade Hester into naming her lover by suggesting the information will allow her to take the scarlet letter off her clothing. Her response tells him that it will take more to intimidate her. Hester weakens their ruling by her extreme truthfulness toward the scarlet letter. She becomes the front line of communication and character Bimbo 101). Hester knows that she committed a sin and believes that she needs to pay the price by wearing the scarlet letter.
She presents herself to others as guilty by Nearing the scarlet letter. Novel by revealing how Hester Prone overcomes her guilt through many years of grief. In Chapter Five, the narrator says that Hester will become the example for the preacher and moralist to use in their teachings. Hester must move on from that and live her life in the fullest. The days will continue onward, still with the load of burden for her to carry with her, but never to drop; for the many coming days and years Mould stack up their sadness upon the mound of shame.
Throughout all of them, giving her individuality away, she would become the symbol for preachers and royalists to use, and in which they might bring life and embody their pictures of Omen’s weakness and wicked passion. The young and pure would learn to look at her as the fugue, the reality of sin (Hawthorne 71). Hester guilt becomes the highlight of the preacher’s and moralist’s teachings. She no longer feels innocent from guilt or shame. In Chapter 15, Hester takes Pearl into the forest for a walk, so she can talk to Reverend Timescale about Roger Clownishness’s secret identity.
Pearl asks many questions about different people and items like the scarlet letter and the minister putting his hand over his heart all the time. The narrator describes, “In all the seven bygone years, Hester Prone had never before been false to the symbol on her bosom” (Hawthorne 164). Hester never denied her guilt before in the past seven years, until Pearl nags Hester to tell her the reason for wearing the scarlet letter. She does not know why she denied the guilt the scarlet letter reminds her of. Mothers teach their children everything they needed because the mothers know the Children the best.
The consecrated union in which the mother teaches her offspring about the letters of communication that expresses her character and position within he town, becomes broken from the lie about the letter. Hester teaches Pearl the alphabet and Pearl acknowledges the letter _A_ from the workbook Hester taught Ninth. Pearl fails the test of knowing her true identity from Hester not telling her the real significance of the letter (Bloom 64). Hester chooses not to tell Pearl the true lying to Pearl. Novel by illustrating how Pearl becomes a symbol of Hester and Damselfly’s sin.
In Chapter Two, Hester realizes that no one but her stands on the scaffold, with an infant in her arm, and the letter “A” sewn onto her gown. She does not want to believe in the truth. The narrator describes, “Could it be true? She clutched the child so fiercely to her breast that it sent forth a cry; she turned her eyes downward at the scarlet letter, and even touched it with her finger, to assure herself that the infant and the shame were real. Yes! -these were her realities,-all else had ‘aniseed” (Hawthorne 53). Hester realizes her guilt and shame for a moment while standing on the scaffold.
In this case, she realizes that no innocence will come to her and free her from her guilt. In Chapter Six, Pearl does not see the entire reason as to “why no one will become her friend. She also doesn’t understand what she did to serve loneliness. The narrator says, “Nothing was more remarkable than the instinct, as it seemed, with which the child comprehended her loneliness; the destiny that had drawn an inviolable circle round about her; the whole peculiarity, in short, of her position in respect to other children” (Hawthorne 84).
Pearl displays herself as innocent, but gets caught up in the guilt of her mother because she bears the same label as her mother, a sinner. Hester lives with the guilt of putting this burden on her daughter. Arthur Timescale fears that Pearl will fugue out that they possess similar facial appearances. The infant’s uniqueness carries someone else’s: that, like a letter, she possesses the evidence to the complete understanding of someone else’s personality-_A_ condenses Adultery, or even Arthur. Pearl’s father’s initials include the first two letters of adultery.
Pearl reflects the form of her father, Just like she notices in the reflecting creek, the face that outlines her father’s appearance and could allow her to reveal Reverend Timescale as Hester fellow sinner. Pearl lives as a symbol or reduced form because her parent’s linguistic misinformation and dishonesty define her. Denying that would deny the existence of Pearl all together ammo 65). Innocence radiates around Pearl, but others, such as Arthur and Hester, see her as a symbol of their guilt and shame. Pearl chooses to feel innocent, so that she might cheer up her mother.