In regards to the nature of passion, Hawthorne expresses his views towards the end of the novel by writing,
It is a curious subject of observation and inquiry, whether hatred and love be not the same thing at bottom. Each, in its utmost development, supposes a high degree of intimacy and heart-knowledge; each renders one individual dependent for the food of his affections and spiritual fife upon another: each leaves the passionate lover, or the no less passionate hater, forlorn and desolate by the withdrawal of his subject. Philosophically considered, therefore, the two passions seem essentially the same, except that one happens to be seen in a celestial radiance, and the other in a dusky and lurid glow (Hawthorne 388-389).
Essentially, Hawthorne understands the duality of passion and recognizes that it can be expressed as either intense love or hatred. Arthur Dimmesdale, the ordained Puritan minister, becomes a victim of passion by sleeping with Hester Prynne, which is against his moral code and religion, while Roger Chillingworth's intense hatred utterly consumes his being. Both characters embody the nature of passion, which affects their decision-making and behavior. Hester Prynne's passion is also expressed through her love, strength, and honesty.
Hawthorne illustrates the duality of passion by juxtaposing love and hate and depicting how the opposite emotions affect the characters differently throughout the novel. Hawthorne understands the lure of human desire, which can be either positive or negative. In the austere Puritan community, society attempts to oppress passions, which are inherent in human nature. Overall, Hawthorne examines how hatred and love stem from passion and are essentially the same emotions but are perceived differently by society.