The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is based on sin, guilt, and repentance. Three main characters living in Boston, Massachusetts around the 1840’s all committed a major sin, adultery and revenge. Hester Prynne and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale committing adultery and Roger Chillingsworth desiring revenge against the Reverend and Ms. Prynne.
Hester Prynne, a middle aged adulteress changed her life forever when she had a child out of wedlock. Pearl, daughter of Hester and the good Reverend, changed her mother’s attitude toward the scarlet “A” sown abroad her bosom. Though the scarlet letter was supposed to be a symbol of shame and frowned upon, Hester wore it with increasing dignity as she came to terms with her sin and God’s mercy.
Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale lived his daughter’s entire life in secret. Also an adulterer, he kept it to himself, letting Hester take all the punishment and scorn. The secretiveness took over his body causing his health to deteriorate. He could barely walk without a cane. His attitude was also changed as he started writing sermons about sin hoping to make his sin feel smaller. Proverbs 28:13 states, “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” This verse relates to Dimmesdale completely. After he confessed his sin, God showed him great mercy and called him home peacefully.
Roger Chillingsworth, Hester’s previous husband had a mindset of only revenge. His appearance changed tremendously as the story unfolded; his stooped shoulders mirroring his distorted soul. Even his name has a sense of evil, perhaps, Chillings’worthless, might have been a more appropriate name for such an evil man. A noticeable change after Dimmesdale death was apparent, “All his strength and energy-all his vital and intellectual force-seemed at once to desert him; insomuch that he positively withered up, shriveled away, and almost vanished…