Since the dawn of man people have been challenged by evil. Whether it was Eve eating and than offering the apple to Adam, or the Caveman murdering his neighbor for personal benefit. Using Nathaniel Hawthorns novel The Scarlet Letter we can see how evil consumes someone’s day to day live even if it is filled with the morals brought fourth upon them by their god. Three of the four main characters in this book were sinners who were faced with evil and chose to suffer, combat, or bargain with it.
With good intentions the townspeople also played a role letting evil exist with the intentions of stomping it out. In the 1600’s because of fear from their vengeful god Puritans tried to be moral and just. They chose a life where the 10 commandments was the law of the land and there was no exception. The sixth commandment Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery was not a rule that people ignored. With the intentions of comforting Hester Prynne’s lonesomeness and grief for her missing husband, Arthur Dimmesdale became passionate.
They both shared intimacy knowing the result was not praised in Heaven. She later found that she was pregnant and our novel begins to show a struggle between good and evil.
After Hester Prynne’s child was born, she was forced to take her walk of shame out of the prison doors to stand on a Scaffold to be publicly humiliated. The townspeople in the marketplace were astonished that a woman can let her lust overwhelm her into the point of adultery. Harsh statements came out of their mouths. “‘At the very least, they should have put the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne’s forehead. ‘Said one of the angry puritans” (1360). The townspeople have good intentions by trying to teach others that Adultery was a sin yet are doing the work of the Dark Man. By mentally crucifying this woman and making her wear the letter they are forming their own lust and vengefulness. While on the Scaffold she looks down to see her missing husband Rodger Chillingworth and he is horrified and ashamed. It is hard to forgive and Chillingworth mentally vows revenge to the one who impregnated his wife. He later tells her not to let his identity to be known. Even in chapter four The Interview it is hard for us to see the path of evil he is about to follow. Chillingworth shows compassion to Hester and almost forgives her for cheating on him, understanding circumstances. But still seeks revenge on the unknown father and when the identity is reviled seven years later his mind breaks into madness and compromises with the devil and hurts him. In the marketplace Arthur Dimmesdale is ashamed of the treatment of Hester because he shares the blame. Wanting to be up there with her, but because he was adored by the townspeople does not have the courage to speak. And when he does he asks Hester to tell the truth and reveal the sinner who stands amongst the crowed. Hoping she will point back to him she does not. So begins Dimmesdale’s life in pain suffering by the hands of evil by living a lie. Throughout the next seven years Hester Prynne chose to combat evil. This Adulterous mistress did not bargain with the dark man and seduce men throughout the rest of the novel. She worked hard, tried to be a good mother to her child Pearl, and helped the same people who ridicule her every day because of the A on her chest. This morality may not have happen without her daughter Pearl. Mislead by Hawthorns ambiguity the child seems evil yet she was more of a saint. Pearl was born because of an act of sin and is Hester and Dimmesdale’s punishment. During her life she does not cooperate with people and acts out. Townspeople believe that she is an evil child, but she is just the opposite. Even in her early days she reminds her mother about the A and does not want her to forget. When almost taken away and brought into the governors home she makes the letter A out of moss with her parents present. The
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