The Nature Of Sin In Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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In Hawthorne's novel, there are a number of sub-themes, which can be expressed in the form of opposition and that are subordinated to a major theme, that of sin. Sin, Knowledge, and the Human Condition Sin and knowledge are closely related in Judeo-Christian tradition. In the Bible Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden because they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. As a result of knowledge, Adam and Eve must admit that they have not listened, and that separates them from divinity and other creatures. After being banished from the Garden of Eden, they are forced to toil and multiply - two "work" that seem to define the human condition. Hester and Dimmesdale's experience reminds us of the story of Adam and Eve because in both cases, sin leads to chasing and suffering. Although Pearl is a complex…show more content…
It examines the human ability to truly understand the spiritual and psychological fields, that are behind the facts considered by mutual agreement, sins. Hester's is forced to wear a scarlet letter as a mark of her sin upon her breast for life, as a punishment. It may seem harsh and unusual. But the punishment is extraordinarily tolerant in comparison to the Biblical and legal punishments at the time. The Bible used by the Puritans states, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). Furthermore, Leviticus 20:10 states, "If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death." Even if a husband wanted his adulterous wife to be saved, she could be sentenced to die as a result of the community's obligations to its moral and legal statutes. But Hawthorne was moving minds to agree that if adultery was a crime, it was a crime of the heart that need not be punished by society, since it had its own consequences in the guilt, shame, and suffering accompanied by personal
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