In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the character of Hester Prynne suffered from a case of mass hysteria and superstition rather than a becoming victim of sin. During the seventeenth century, in Puritan New England, a sin was looked upon as merely a sin with no context to the causes or effects of someone's actions. The actions of Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne were done for the soulful purpose of love; however Puritan's society looked down upon Hester Prynne for the actions of her sins. Throughout the novel there are scenes that show Hester Prynne's love for the mutual partner of her sin. Such scenes can be found in: (1.) Chapter Two, The Market-Place (2.) Chapter Thirteen, Another View of Hester (3.) Chapter Seventeen, The Pastor and His Parishioner.
Within the beginning of the novel, we the reader are introduced to Hester Prynne and the sin she has committed.
"On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold-thread, appeared the letter A But the point which drew all eyes, and, as it were, transfigured the wearer,-- so that both men and women, who had been familiarly acquainted with Hester Prynne, were now impressed as if they beheld her for the first time,-- was that Scarlet Letter, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom."".
The scarlet letter A', which Nathaniel Hawthorne refers to in actuality, stands for adultery. Although Hester Prynne could not deny the guiltiness of her sin, for she was with child, her partner, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, could not face the consequences of confessing to such a sin amongst his congregation. " People say, said another, that the Reverend Master Dimmesdale, her godly pastor, takes it very grievously to heart that such a scandal should have come upon his congregation.- Through Hester Prynne's love, she could not confess the father of the child in her arms, for she knew that if she did she would ruin him forever.