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In Adams fall we sinned all This old Sunday-school saying applies well to Nathaniel Hawthornes characters in The Scarlet Letter The main characters Hester Prynne Arthur Dimmesdale Roger Chillingworth as well as the townspeople all sinned The story is a study of the effects of sin on the hearts and minds of Hester Dimmesdale and Chillingworth Sin strengthens Hester humanizes Dimmesdale and turns Chillingworth into a demon Hester Prynnes sin was adultery This sin was regarded very seriously by the Puritans and was often punished by death Hesters punishment was to endure a public shaming on a scaffold for three hours and wear a scarlet letter A on her chest for the rest of her life in the town Although Hawthorne does not pardon Hesters sin he considers it less serious than those of Dimmesdale and Chillingworth Hesters sin was a sin of passion This sin was openly acknowledged as she wore the A on her chest Hester did not commit the greatest sin of the novel She did not deliberately mean to commit her sin or mean to hurt others Hesters sin is that her passions and love were of more importance to her than the Puritan moral code This is shown when she says to Dimmesdale What we did had a consecration of its own We felt it so We said so to each other Hester fully acknowledged her guilt and displayed it with pride to the world This was obvious by the way she displayed the scarlet letter It was elaborately designed as if to show Hester was proud Hester is indeed a sinner adultery is no light matter even today On the other hand her sin has brought her not evil but good Her charity to the poor her comfort to the broken-hearted her unquestionable presence in times of trouble are all direct results of her quest for repentance Her salvation also lies in the truth She tells Dimmesdale of Chillingworths
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