Sin's Role in Society

Sin’s Role in Society: A Comparison between Inferno and The Scarlet Letter

Sin can take on many different forms, shapes, or appearances to work its way into the lives of individuals. It can consume all thought. It can bring out hidden portions of people that they themselves never knew existed. For these reasons, sin is difficult to bring into literature without it damaging the entire work. In the novel’s The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Inferno by Dante Alighieri, both authors have accomplished an amazing feat by bringing in the elements of sin and its effects on society into both of their works of literature, but instead of letting those elements ruin either of their works, they use the sin they have written about to demonstrate what kind of awful examples of people sin can bring out and to demonstrate a lesson of basically what not to do. But it seems that the world literature work of Inferno has done a better undertaking of illustrating the effects of how sinister sin can be once you allow it into your life either through yourself or those that you surround yourself with.
The Scarlet Letter was published in the spring of 1850. Originally it was to be part of a smaller collection of works done by Nathaniel Hawthorne, but he was pushed by his publisher to expand on the already brilliant work he had in the making. Even Hawthorne’s wife thought this was a terrible idea. Little did she know thou that the Scarlet Letter would go on to be an instant best seller and one of the first mass produced books in America. Controversy rose though of the way Hawthorne portrayed the Puritan’s in the books pre-face ‘The Custom-House’.
In the story we open with a young woman, Hester Prynne, in a 17th century Boston, Massachusetts Puritan village. She has recently been named an adulterer in the village. This leads her to be forced to wear a scarlet ‘A’ on her chest to let all know of her crimes and as a symbol of shame and guilt for Hester. Not only is she forced...