The Scarlet Letter tells the story of hypocritical preacher by the name of Arthur Dimmesdale and his secretive lover Hester Prynne. As a result of their affair, Hester gave birth to a baby girl name Pearl. Choosing to keep their illicit liaison a secret, Hester takes on the critical blame of committing adultery with her pastor Dimmesdale. Because she wouldn’t give up the name of Pearl’s father, she was compelled to wear an “A” on her chest. Secluding herself from the rest of the world, she then learns from her sins and becomes a better person for Pearl’s sake. In contrast, Arthur punishes himself and only suffers from the “A” in solitude and slowly begins to die from a bad heart owned by hidden guilt and mercilessness pain.
Within the story, there is numerous times where Hester and Arthur’s paths cross. Depicting on how they reacted towards one another, you can tell that in some way, they are longing to be with each other. The story shows that in every way possible, that Arthur and Hester are meant to be soul mates, but due to how hypocritical the society was during this time, it was completely impossible for these two to be together. It shows that deep down inside of Arthur Dimmesdale’s heart, he truly wanted to be with Hester and that he wanted to be a decent father figure to Pearl. Even though it was pure destiny for these two to have romantic intercourse, nothing of this nature would’ve been accepted by anyone in the Puritan world. Arthur Dimmesdale is a major example of duplicity. He was said to be this well respected preacher that everyone adored and admired. When in the time of need, he was the first person that the people of his town would go to. But, in seclusion he was sinning, a preacher that commits adultery is something that is out of the norm for any being of God and definitely and man in the Puritan society.
Dimmesdale’s hidden sin was the only thing that kept him alive. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14) This excerpt from the bible was a major commandment within Puritan society. The ways they punished people for committing adultery was far from lenient. “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death” (Leviticus 20:10) In 1641, Boston passed a law that served death as punishment for anyone who committed adultery. Hester Prynne had to stand upon a scaffold and basically face public humility for her sin, where as in Boston, the scaffold was only used for executions, since that’s what the punishment was for adulterers. Past references of punishment of this such behavior were, Mary Latham and James Britton, they were reported to