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Word Count: 1,266
The ninth commandment tells man not to give false witnessExodus 2016 Nathaniel Hawthorn and Charles Dickens in their novels The Scarlet Letter and A Tale of Two Cities respectively both use punishment for deception as a recurring theme Although they do so to different degrees and in dissimilar manners both authors agree that deception is a sin that requires punishment In The Scarlet Letter the heroine Hester Prynne conceived a child out of wedlock Despite the pleas and demands of the clerical community she did not reveal the identity of the father The Puritanical community in which she lived in demanded her to give up her conspirator or bear the consequences of the deed alone Due to her doggedness the townsmen sentenced her to wear a scarlet letter A embroidered on her chest The A served as a symbol of her crime was a punishment of humiliation gave her constant shame and reminded her of her sin Hesters penalization was a prime example where deception led to negative consequences in that she would have been spared the entire encumbrance of the crime if she did not deceive the townspeople Although seemingly her paramour did not escape punishment In fact the father of her bastard child took a more severe sentence Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale seemed to be an upstanding young priest The whole town liked him and respected him as a holy man Thus his deception was much more direct and extreme when he did not confess that he impregnated Hester Prynne Unlike Hester he was not publicly punished So although Hester overcame her ordeal and went on with her life Dimmesdale exacted a constant physical and mental reprobation on himself This inner pain was so intense that his physical health began to reflect his inner sufferings In the end he redeemed himself by his confession in front of the whole town but his long endurance of the secret took
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