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Word Count: 2,094
In Scarlet Letter Hawthorne seems to intimate that what Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmsdale shared wasnt quite as sinful as is supposed The real sin seems to lie in the marriage of Hester with Chillingworth Similarly A Pair of Eyes or Modern Magic by Louisa May Alcott also portrays the marriage between Max Erdmann and Agatha Eure in a sinful light Though Hawthorne takes the route of abandoning the marriage for infidelity Alcott focuses on the union and examines what becomes of a decaying marriage both authors concludes that a marriage derived out of anything less than love is doomed to failure By doing so Alcott derives a different reason for the failure of the marriage structure than Hawthornes Hawthorne manipulates the fact that beauty is something which is universally pleasant and the reader will sympathize with beautiful things The notion of beauty seems to be a measurement of Hesters goodness Upon first mention of Hester Hawthorne sets this precedence which will be applied throughout the novel Upon emerging from the prison walls Hester was characterized by a certain state of dignity rather than by delicate evanescent and indescribable race which is now recognized as its indication And never had Hester Prynne appeared more lady-like 50 The emblem of her sin the scarlet letter is almost a broach She had in her nature a rich voluptuous Oriental characteristic --a taste for the gorgeously beautiful which save in the exquisite production of her needle found nothing else in all the possibilities of her life to exercise itself upon 77 Even Pearl the product of the sin is described as worthy to have been brought forth in Eden worthy to have been left there to be the plaything of angels 82 An almost ethereal description of her that there was an absolute circle of radiance around her 83 suggests that Pearl was a product of love rather than sin Everything about the adulterythe punishment the emblem
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