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Hawthorne's Hierarchy of Sin in The Scarlet Letter Throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne focuses on the struggle of Hester Prynne, a girl who is forced to deal with the strict Puritan punishment for the adulterous birth of her child, Pearl. Yet, the very Puritan values which bring Hester public ignominy help to lift her into a place of respect in the community. Although Hawthorne doesn't condone Hester's sin, he takes pains to demonstrate that her sin is minimal compared to those of her feeble buff, Arthur Dimmesdale, and of her vengeful husband, Roger Chillingworth. Hester finds solace in the moral teachings of her faith and in acts of repentance, which help her cope with the conflicts resulting from her sin. Although she practices her faith publicly after her public disgrace, she still has deep ties to her God and faith. She frequently prays for Pearl in hopes that her child's wild character will probably be shrouded with time. Hester takes her punishment readily, elaborately embroidering the scarlet "A" she is forced to wear on her breast feeding and dressing Pearl in scarlet. She continues to wear the emblem of her sin after the community declares her repented as a result of her respectable record of community support, showing everyone that she has nothing to conceal. Really, Hester's salvation can be found in the fact: "In all things else, I have striven to be true! Truth was the 1 virtue which I may have held fast, and did hold fast, through all extremity... A lie is not good, even though death threaten on the other side!" (200). Hester finds comfort in prayer and repentance, which help make her powerful: "Shame, Despair, Solitude! These were her teachers- s.. .