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The Nature of Evil in Stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne

             Nathaniel Hawthorne approached his use of the nature of evil very intelligently and uniquely in his stories. "The Scarlet Letter", and "The Minister's Black Veil," show that his studies of evil often coincide with his studies of religion, in this case, Puritanism, which his ancestors in Salem practiced in the 17th century. The following will explain the nature of evil in the stories, "The Scarlet letter" and the "Minister's Black Veil".
             The Scarlet letter deals with guilt, fervor, and hypocrisy in a tough Puritan society. Hester and Dimmesdale's experience relates to the story of Adam and Eve because, in both cases, sin results in expulsion and suffering. But it also results in knowledge, specifically, in knowledge of what it means to be human. For Hester, the scarlet letter functions as "her passport into regions where other women dared not tread," leading her to "speculate" about her society and herself more "boldly" than anyone else in New England. As for Dimmesdale, the burden of his sin gives him "sympathies so intimate with the sinful brotherhood of mankind, so that his heart vibrates in unison with theirs." .
             Figuring out the nature of evil in this novel is an in-depth thought. For example, the experiences between the characters rise up questions like; Did Chillingworth's selfishness in marrying Hester eventually cause her to commit adultery with another man? The person who is taking the punishment directly is Hester herself, but is she really the nature of evil for the sin she has committed? The book argues that true evil comes from the close relationship between hate and love. The narrator points out in the novel's last chapter, both emotions depend upon "a high degree of intimacy and heart-knowledge; each renders one individual dependent upon another." Evil is not found in Hester and Dimmesdale's lovemaking, nor even in the cruel ignorance of the Puritan fathers.

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