The Scarlet Letter Analyzation Essay, Research Paper
The Scarlet Letter has been considered a milestone in literature for years. A reason for this is its message to “be true, be true.” This novel shows the moral through the actions of the two main characters, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale. Many people have learned this important “moral blossom” and have held it with them, remembering it in their times of indecision. The book teaches us that it is better to show the world your faults than to lie and let them fester inside.
Through their actions, each of these characters in the novel either are true and prosper, or keep themselves and their faults hidden and eventually face a terrible faith. Hester Prynne commits adultery with Arthur Dimmesdale, the well-respected, popular priest. Hester and Arthur both have to deal with the knowledge of what they did with each other that would condemn both of them from society if it ever were revealed. Priesthood has made this crime that Hester and Arthur committed more severe and demoralizing in the eyes of the people than if two individuals who were not as morally concerned
She must endure the admonishment of the town on the scaffolding, becoming an outcast in society, by wearing a scarlet “A” on her chest for “adulterer”. Arthur never tells the town that she helped Hester with her sin. This is his fatal mistake. For the next seven years, he can do nothing more than hate himself for his lie, letting his guilt eat him. He physically abuses himself, beating himself with “a bloody scourge” and holding nightlong prayers. His inner feelings reveal themselves on the outside, causing him to become very ill. However, he later admits his sin, and although he dies from his illness, he dies with a peaceful heart. When he lied, he ruined himself, and although he did die, he died without that emotional burden of adultry.
Hester Prynne, however, holds to the truth and becomes strong because of it. She never lies about her sin; the “A” on her chest forces her to acknowledge it. As a result, she goes out into society and helps others, becoming an “angel of mercy” to other souls who are lost. She makes the most of the situation by helping others. Therefore, she becomes a respected member of the community, giving back what she took away through her sin. Therefore, she is regarded with greater respect for admitting what she did. She shows that by telling the truth, you help yourself in the end.
These two characters show that the “sweet moral blossom” indeed does hold truth. In showing the world that you are not perfect, you help yourself by giving yourself the atmosphere of trustworthiness and integrity.