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A Comparison And Contrast In Both A

’s Worn By Hester And Dimm Essay, Research Paper A Comparison and Contrast In Both A’s Worn By Hester and Dimmesdale The two A’s worn in the novel by both Hester and Dimmesdale are dramatically

’s Worn By Hester And Dimm Essay, Research Paper

A Comparison and Contrast In Both A’s

Worn By Hester and Dimmesdale

The two A’s worn in the novel by both Hester and Dimmesdale are dramatically

different, yet they are born and made by the same identical sins. These letters are also

differentiated by the infinitely changing emotional state and physical well being of the

character, the towns views of morality and natural order, and the affecting environment.

The two sins of most importance in the novel and that serve the greatest beneficiality in the

appearance of the A’s are–of course– adultery and hypocrisy.

The separation in the appearance of both of the A’s begins with each characters

own personal interpretation of the extremity of their sins. Where Hester’s A is beautiful

and artistically done (”fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom; pg.37)

her interpretation of the extremity of her sins is one of self composure and nonchalantness.

She views her sins solely as a “violation in the natural order” of the environment and

therefore cannot even perceive her sin as being evil except through outside brainwashing.

While Dimmesdale’s personal interpretation as to the extremity of his own sins is a

“violation of God’s law,” which is the law that he is totally dedicated to and supported by.

Dimmesdale’s interpretation of his sin is much more severe than Hester’s, it is a breach and

direct contradiction of his own self consciousness and physical existence. Therefore the

appearance of his A, even though it is never directly described in the novel, must be raw,

jagged, and brutally crooked (…a ghastly rapture; pg.95). Maybe Dimmesdale’s self torture

is so horrifying or inconceivable that it is either indescribable, (…too mighty to be

expressed only by the eye of his figure; pg.95), or best left up to the reader’s imagination.

Unlike Hester, Dimmesdale, because of self interpretation, cannot in any way conceive his

sins of being anything but evil.

Although the appearance of the A’s are proportional to the interpretation by each

character; also the appearance of the A’s is directly correlated between the consequences

each character receives because of their sins, both Hester’s and Dimmesdale’s punishment

is introduced through a new character and some sort of isolation. The new character’s are

a form of abstract contrasting where each new character is an extension of the sinner’s “A”

itself. Where as Chillingworth is a doubled extension of Dimmesdale’s consciousness;

Pearl is a contrast to Hester’s creativity, patience, and composure. Dimmesdale’s

punishment through Chillingworth is one of mental bombardment and spiritual torture

which supports the theory that Dimmesdale’s A must be horrifically putrid and

indescribable. Pearl’s punishment towards Hester is one of irritation that attempts to

counter balance Hester’s everlasting patience and composure. Because Hester does not let

her irritation get to her and remains constantly tranquil, the A that she wears (ie. the

extension of the A she bears) is as beautiful and natural as she is.

So the A’s worn in the novel, even though from the same origin, are the exact

antithesis of each other separated by personal interpretation and individual consequences.

Where one character’s beauty and open mindedness to her crime and punishment makes

her A and her punishment (Pearl) natural and beautiful. While the other character’s torture

and self hatred of himself and his crime make the burden that he carries much more heavy.

Dimmesdale’s A and the extension to his A (Chillingworth) are ugly, and brutal.

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