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Word Count: 613
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is the fictionalized retelling of Jonathan Pues account of Hester Prynne The narrator presumably Hawthorne stumbles upon the actual Scarlet Letter and the story behind it on the abandoned second floor of his workplace the Custom House Hawthorne finds that the story is one of romance scandal and deceit and decides to retell the tale to the public Hawthorne and Pues combined efforts have made the scarlet letter a cultural icon and have created a literary classic Through Nathaniel Hawthornes words people today are still mesmerized by the steadfastness of Hester Prynne the ruthlessness of Roger Chillingworth and the tortured soul of Arthur Dimmesdale Hester Prynne the tragic heroin of The Scarlet Letter is the mother of a bastard child Pearl For her sin of adultery Hester was condemned to wear a scarlet A to publicize her crimes At first glance Hester seems to be the most harshly punished sinner but in truth she experiences the least suffering The scarlet letter that sits perpetually on her chest becomes a badge of her character as she refuses to let society see the torment that it brings her Hester Prynne is remorseful for her sins but chooses to not let them influence her life in fact many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification They said that it meant Able so strong was Hester Prynne with a womans strength Hawthorne 114 Hester deals with her sins better than Dimmesdale and Chillingworth by remaining true to herself and is ultimately rewarded for it Roger Chillingworth is the estranged husband of Hester Prynne He is the antagonist of the novel and the most sinful While Hester and Dimmesdale have both desecrated thier vows Chillingworths revenge has been blacker than Dimmesdales sin He has violated in cold blood the sanctitiy of a human heart Hawthorne 137 Chillingworth is not punished by man for his sins but is punished by God-
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