What are the effects of sin on Hester, Pearl, Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter?

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Ultimately, the characters of Pearl, Hester, Chillingworth, and Dimmesdale are united through this act of adultery committed by Hester and Dimmesdale. Their sin produces Pearl and is the catalyst for Chillingworth's maniacal pursuit of revenge. Yet the effects that this sin has on each of these four characters is varied. The main differentiation is that Hester and Pearl are forcefully isolated and rejected by society because of the sin while Chillingworth and Dimmesdale choose to isolate themselves.

Throughout the novel, Hester's kindness and skill are seen as secondary through the eyes of those who know her infidelity, and they consider her wearing of the scarlet letter to be a prideful choice. In a way, Hester's choice demonstrates her acceptance of her sin and is therefore the character with the most maturity in terms of dealing with the sin. Pearl, similarly, is seen from her birth as a literal symbol of Hester's infidelity and is therefore vilified by both children and adults in the...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1047 words.)

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