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Essay Galaxy - Scarlet Letter 4 A critic, Edward Wagenknecht explains that the scarlet letter upon Hester's breast in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter "had not done its office." This means that the actions of the magistrates punishing Hester for her sin is like usurping God's power, and the scarlet letter keeps Hester from living a miserable, guilty life such as the one led by Dimmesdale. Hester openly shows her scarlet letter and the sin she commits and as a result, this saves her from much grief and misery. Dimmesdale on the other hand, carries his sin which makes him sick and weak. This is the idea surrounding Wagenknecht. From Hawthorne's point of view, he feels that a sin should not be delt with like a crime. When he states that “The scarlet letter had not done its office”(160), Hawthorne shows that the magistrates ....

Number Of Pages: 2 Number Of Words: 331

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