The Scarlet Letter is a wonderful and not so traditional example of the good versus evil theme. What makes this a unique instance of good versus evil is that either side could be considered either one. Hester could very easily have been deduced as evil, or the “bad guy,” as she was by the townspeople. That is, she was convicted of adultery, a horrible sin of the time. As for punishment, a sentence to wear a scarlet “A” upon her chest, it would hardly be considered a burden or extreme sentence in present day. Another sin that Hester committed was the fact that she never told who the father of her child, Pear, forcing her to be without a father. Hester’s silence also caused Dimmesdale to live in torture every day. Chillingsworth was also hurt by Hester’s act of adultery and because of her, his life was destroyed and the only thing he could do was seek revenge against the man who had been with her.
Hester’s child Pearl had to be raised by only one parent and that caused the child to be less disciplined and more outrageous making the townspeople more suspicious of who the child’s father was. It also caused the religious leaders to wonder about the religious stability of the child, and if there might be witchcraft involved, “The little baggage have witchcraft in her”(p112).
Hester also caused numerous a sleepless night for Dimmesdale. If Hester had just announced that Dimmesdale was the father he would have never have lived through all the guilt that she forced him into. Dimmesdale was a weak and frail man because of Hester’s silence.
Chillengsworth was pushed into a life of revenge and anguish since Hester had betrayed their marriage and Chillengsworth’s trust in her. She had turned Chillengsworth into a fiend, “I have already told thee what I am, a fiend!” (P169). Hester admitts to causing Chillengsworth into becoming the fiend as well.
The guilt rests solely on Hester Prynne for destroying not just her own life from this sin but also of many other people such as the minister Dimmesdale, the physician Chillengsworth, and her own daughter Pearl. Hester manipulated and destroyed Dimmesdale’s very life and caused Chillengsworth to degrade himself into living a life of revenge, she also caused Pearl to be shunned by society and to be looked down upon as if she was a demon. It is quite obvious who the true sinner is in this book and it is Hester Prynne.