Villains In The Scarlet Letter

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In many stories, the villain(s) has the greatest impact on the story. Sometimes these villains are not actual characters in the novel but rather they are archetypes. One example of this is demonstrated in The Scarlet Letter. Isolation’s impact on the characters is evident throughout the novel. In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne, the villain, isolation, has the greatest impact on the story. Isolation in the Puritan society creates a barrier between the individuals and themselves; this is evident in Hester Prynne. As a result of her sin she is sentenced to wear a scarlet letter A for the entirety of her life. This results in her isolation from society— she is shunned from the rest of the community. The scarlet letter is…show more content…
It is he who sends himself into said isolation. Although the Puritan society admires and respects him, Dimmesdale believes his sin makes him hated among everyone. Although he is surrounded by people he has no friends to confide his secrets in. Unlike Hester’s isolation, Dimmesdales’s isolation is sought by him. “‘Had I one friend…to whom, when sickened with the praises of all other men, I could daily betake myself and be known as the vilest of all sinners, methinks my soul might keep itself alive thereby’” (Hawthorne 175). As shown by this quote, Dimmesdale is overtaken by his isolation from the rest of society and the fact he is hiding his sin. He resents that he is a role model to so many people although his sin keeps him from revealing his true self to them. This is why he isolates himself. “‘Canst thou deem it, Hester, a consolation, that I must stand up in my pulpit and meet so many eyes turned upward to my face, as if the light of heaven were beaming from it!...and then look inward, and discern the black reality of what they idolize?’” (Hawthorne 174). Dimmesdale recognizes his separation and acknowledges it with grief and self-loathing. His isolation is what leads to his downfall. All of Dimmesdales’s self-torture and his poor state of health as a result of his down-casting into separation from others. The only way he is freed from this villain is to admit his sin and free himself. Incidentally,

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