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Word Count: 581
The Result of Sin Sin is often followed by punishment whether it be humiliation or even death Punishment in the form of humiliation or death is one of the many themes Nathaniel Hawthorne deals with in his novel The Scarlet Letter Through the characters of Pearl and her mother Hester Prynne and Hesters ill-fated lover Dimmesdale the reader discovers the consequences of sin in the punishments that follow In The Scarlet Letter Hesters sin is punishable by public humiliation personable troubles and even the death of those associated with her sin As is the tradition in Puritan society Hester is put on public display in front of all the town of Boston to confess her sin of adultery She is also forced to wear on the breast of her gown in fine red cloth surrounded with and elaborate embroidery and flourishes of gold threadthe letter A a literal symbol for the community to know she is denounced as a sinner an adulterer The letter A completely humiliates her in front of everyone she meets She begins to even hide behind it trying to conceal her identity Hawthorne describes Hester as the unhappy culprit sustainedas best a woman might under the heavy weigh of a thousand unrelenting eyes all fastened upon her and concentrated on her bosom The scarlet letter Hester wears will constantly remind her and the townspeople that she is a sinner reassuring the fact that she will never regain the respect she had before this incident This is Hesters first punishment to be seen by the reader Hesters daughter Pearl is a much more considerable punishment than the letter A All of the evil and hate of this dramatic story is embodied in this little girl being that Pearl is the living symbol of Hesters sin Pearl is a beautifully charismatic child and thus a blessing but the stress of Hesters environment seems to twist and turn the actions of Pearl
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