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Guilt as Reparation for Sin in The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter is a novel about a Puritan woman who has committed adultery and must pay for her sin by wearing a scarlet A on her bosom The woman Hester Prynne must struggle through everyday life with the guilt of her sin The novel is also about the suffering that is endured by not admitting to ones wrongs Reverend Mister Dimmesdale learns that secrecy only makes the guilt increase Nathaniel Hawthorne is trying to display how guilt is the everlasting payment for sinful actions The theme of guilt as reparation for sin in The Scarlet Letter is revealed through Nathaniel Hawthornes use of northeastern colonial settings various conflicts and characters that must live with guilt for the sins they have committed Nathaniel Hawthornes elaborately descriptive writing style has been studied and criticized by people all over the world for years Hawthorne has been thought of as one of the greatest writers in history but his unique style has also been negatively criticized and disapproved of No matter the opinion of his works the people who knew him personally respected Hawthorne On the day after Hawthornes funeral in May 1864 Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his journal I thought him a greater man than any of his works betray Martin 37 Hawthorne however was not so well thought of by people who did not know him well Someone who would rather be creative and write than have a real job was not very well respected in Hawthornes day A writer who wrote fictional tales was even less respected than an author who wrote of actual events was These unjustified opinions of writers influenced Nathaniel Hawthorne throughout his life and career in creative writing Another issue that influenced Nathaniel Hawthorne was his ancestry His family had spent five generations in Salem A couple of Nathaniels ancestors of whom he was especially ashamed were William and
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