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Word Count: 575
The Presence of Guilt in The Scarlet LetterGuilt can change even the evilest moral standards The continuing emotional guilt throughout the story affects the characters and events that take place This presence of guilt is shown through the scaffold with Hesters punishment with Dimmesdales inner struggle and with Dimmesdales final confession at the end of the novelGuilt first comes into play when Hester must take her stand on the scaffold as public punishment for her adultery Hester is forced to admit her sin and stand on the scaffold to show that she is paying for her sin As she stands there among the public eye with Pearl in her arms Hester begins to realize what she has done is wrong She touches the scarlet letter to assure herself that the infant and her shame are real52 She is forced to put into perspective that she has lost everything but Hester still refuses to be truly repentant of her actions She knows she loves Dimmesdale and although everything between them has changed she is sure their love will never fade Dimmesdale is also affected by his own guilt Dimmesdale is overcome by the torture he feels emotionally and spiritually for his sin He approaches the same scaffold that Hester took her punishment on earlier to admit his guilt He goes at night because he is too cowardly to admit his sin publicly He feels that maybe in some way he can feel better about himself if he can stand on the scaffold as Hester did As he stands there Dimmesdale feels as if the universe were gazing at the scarlet token on his naked breast 133 This is image plays true as the scar that Dimmesdale has inflicted upon himself is revealed Since
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