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Word Count: 901
The Effects of Sin The main thematic emphasis in The Scarlet Letter is on sin more specifically adultery and its effects upon the individual in a Puritan society In a time where people lived under the strict moral code of puritan life many individuals were condemned to a life of seclusion and looked upon with shame by all righteous members of society In his novel Nathaniel Hawthorne reveals how adultery affects the lives of the individuals involved and how a Puritan society reacts to such sin Hawthorne uses the symbolic scarlet letter as the emblem of the adulterous acts between Hester Prynee and Arthur Dimmesdale for she is forced to wear the A as a constant badge of shame to punish her disgraceful affair This scarlet letter represents the continual punishment by society and Hawthorne shows the affects of this emblem upon each individual involved throughout the novel Becoming pregnant by her adulterous acts Hester Prynnes sin is exposed to public view and she is forced to embroider the scarlet letter A onto her bosom as punishment from the Puritan society To Hester the scarlet letter stood for her unforgiving shame and served as a constant reminder to all whom she encountered in her day-to-day life She would become the general symbol at which the preacher and moralist might point and in which they might vivify and embody their images of womans frailty and sinful passion Thus the young and pure would be taught to look at her with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast-- at her the child of honorable parents -- at her the mother of a babe that would hereafter be a woman -- at her who had once been innocent-- as the figure the body the reality of sin 54 Her child Pearl served constant reminder of her disgrace being the first object of which Pearl seemed to become aware was-the scarlet letter on Hesters bosom 65 Hesters
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