Chillingworth's Hierarchy Of Sins In Scarlet Letter

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In the Nathaniel’s Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter we see a hierarchy of sins. Roger Chillingworth’s pursuit of revenge is considered a "worse sin" than the passion that led Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale to commit adultery. All the characters recognize that sin will be punished, if not on earth immediately, than by God after death. The puritans believed many sins were punishable by death. Hester is spared execution because the Puritans of Boston decided it would benefit the community to transform her into a "living sermon against sin." In showing this she must stand on a scaffold for 3 hours where the whole town can see her. In addition to this punishment she is to wear a scarlet letter A on her bosom for the rest of her life. “Thus the young and pure would be taught to look at her, with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast,—at her, the child of honorable parents,—at her, the mother of a babe, that would hereafter be a woman, —at her, who had once been innocent, —as the figure, the body, the reality of sin.” (Hawthorne pg.54)…show more content…
Hester is shown to be the least sinful of the three people to have committed sins her, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth because she is redeemed by the fact that she must wear the scarlet letter. Hester received all the punishments of her crime, while Dimmesdale the person that she cheated with is scared and does not reveal his sins even though he is equally as guilty as Hester and because of this he is a coward and does not have any consequences. These sins committed were sins of passion and did not cause harm to any other people but themselves as opposed to Robert Chillingworth sin which was directed to cause pain to

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