Betrayal In The Scarlet Letter

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In many literary works betrayal is often depicted. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, acts of betrayal were committed by many characters. One character in particular has committed one of the utmost forms of betrayal; Adultery. This character is the protagonist, Hester Prynne. Hester Prynne is a young woman living in a Puritan settlement in seventeenth-century Boston. Her husband, Roger Chillingsworth sends her overseas for a better life with more religious freedom and promises of him to follow. The nature of betrayal can occasionally be accidental. This is in Hester’s case. When her husband promises begin to look empty and unfulfilling, she moves on and commits acts of love with another man. This secret man is Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale,…show more content…
The theme of sin comes from the betrayal committed by Hester and Dimmesdale. Like in the story of Adam and Eve, Hester and Dimmesdale’s story also ends in expulsion and suffering. They are expelled from their society and suffer. Hester suffers mentally. Dimmesdale develops physically ill and it results in death when he publically admits his sins upon the scaffold. Betrayal has also contributed to the meaning of the work by introducing themes of evil. “The Black Man” is constantly referred to in the story who is the embodiment of evil. The Black Man has been referred to many different characters such as Chillingsworth and Dimmesdale, even Pearl. Pearl was thought out to be the devil’s child because she was the product of a sin. She is an outcast and defiant and even plays with and mocks the scarlet letter. Lastly, because of betrayal Hester gains a sense of identity. In the story she is allowed to leave the city being free of damnation by the townspeople but she refuses. Hester is also allowed to remove the scarlet letter but she chooses to leave the letter in place and wear it every day. This the reader can gather from is that Hester is not ashamed of her mistakes. She boldly wears them upon her for the world to see. This is setting an example for her daughter Pearl along with the readers. An individual’s mistakes make his or hers personality and become a part of them. Hester lets herself tell her who she is and no one

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