Scarlet Letter Essay - Hoodlebrink1 Alyssa Hoodlebrink Mr...

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Hoodlebrink1 Alyssa Hoodlebrink Mr. Howard H English Period 2 20 December 2018 Inevitable Sinners It is inevitable that a single fly landing in a poisonous trap will die, just as it is inevitable that a single individual living amongst a controlling, hostile, and evil society will then become sinners. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, exemplifies a great deal about the human condition of mankind, and overall illuminates how humans have the capacity for both good and evil. Throughout the novel, the characters struggle with the consequences they are faced with after having committed a sin that the town would forever remember. The characters showcased good aspects while battling the evil ones. Hawthorne’s overall message in, The Scarlet Letter, revolves around the idea that humanity is driven to sin throughout the influences of society, and this idea can be supported with examples from both historical and modern times. Nathaniel Hawthorne is ultimately trying to say that society’s influences drive humanity to become sinners. He presents the idea that they have purity within themselves to combat this evil; however, society is many times working against humanity throughout this process of life. Individuals often strive to revive their purity from their sinful nature that they have come accustomed to living in; however, the issue of society arises once again. Looking deeper into the idea of all humans having a sinful nature, an example states, “They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one .... while not all of human nature is depraved, all human nature is totally affected by depravity. Even the goodness that we do, then, is tainted by our sinful nature” (Ritenbaugh). The idea that everyone is
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Hoodlebrink2 inevitably a sinner is present here in this quote; however, it lacks the idea that societal influences exfoliate humanity’s sinful nature. Nathaniel Hawthorne describes in great detail the effect nature has on humanity in his novel, The Scarlet Letter , “I seem to have flung myself---sick, sin- stained, and sorrow-blackened—down upon these forest leaves and to have risen up all made anew.” Hawthorne describes society as being very strict and judgemental of everyone’s action and way of life. It seems as though the society is incapacitating Dimmesdale, as well as Hester, and the only thing that seems to relieve them of this claustrophobic feeling is being in nature.
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