What is the main theme of "The Scarlet Letter"?

What is the main theme of "The Scarlet Letter"?

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Jennings Williamson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In the final chapter, the narrator suggests that love and hate are, in many ways, the same.  He says, 

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...

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The main theme of the scarlet letter is to be true. Hawthorne clearly says to "be true, be true, be true" at the end of the novel. Hester and Dimmesdale should have been honest since the beginning so they did did not have to suffer guilt. The moral also means to be true to yourself even when others make fun of you or try to isolate you.

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