In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne many themes are presented .The Scarlet Letter is a very complex and can be interpreted in may ways. Hawthorn used many literary techniques; such as, metaphor, imagery, and very serious tone. Throughout the novel the theme of sin, punishment, and redemption was portrayed through Hester Prynne on many ways and on many levels.
An element of this theme is sin. The whole bases of the novel is on the sin of Hester and Dimmesdale committed. The sin of adultery had great consequences and haunted both of them until the day they died. In the time this novel was written adultery should have been condemned with murder, but some of the town's people took pity on Hester because no one knew what happened to her husband. Although the women of the town did not agree with the decision. Hawthorne shows this by the harsh language the women used to talk about Hester's punishment. "At the very least, they should have put the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne's forehead"(51). The sin of adultery would never leave Hester because she was forced to wear an "A" on her chest until the day she died.
The second element of this theme is punishment. Hester's punishment for her crime was standing in a scaffold in front of the town and then she was forced to wear the letter "A" embroidered on her chest for the rest of her life. "Not a stitch in that embroidered letter, but she has felt it in her heart"(54). Another aspect of her punishment was Pearl. She was not really meant to punish her mother, but she was evil most of the time. Pearl was metaphorically linked to the scarlet letter . Pearl was considered an extension of the letter, and reminded her mother daily of her sin. "Hester could not help questioning, at such moments, whether Pearl were a human child"(92). Although Hester loved Pearl she was a constant reminder of her sin and the letter she must wear.