The novel The Scarlet Letter shows many problems of the human nature that were present at that time and are still present today. There is anger, there is hatred, and there is remorse. Nathaniel Hawthorne shows all three of these problems through his novel. He has Roger Chillingworth show anger when Hester committed adultery, he has Roger say that he hates what he has become, and he has Arthur and Hester show remorse and guilt throughout the entire novel about there misdeeds.
The first problem of the human nature listed in the book was anger. He shows anger through Roger, Hester’s husband, first when Roger returns to Boston to find Hester up on the scaffold for committing adultery. He is angry not at her but at himself for letting it happen and knowing it would happen if he had left. “Anger ventilated often hurries toward forgiveness; and concealed often hardens into revenge. ” ~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton. After he finds Hester on the scaffold he keeps his anger bottled up and then sets out for revenge on Arthur.
Even today if we let one of our loved ones be hurt in any way, we would be angry at ourselves for letting the bad things happen to our loved ones. `Out of anger comes revenge, out of revenge comes hatred. Which brings us to our second problem, Hatred? Nathaniel shows hatred not to other people but to himself. Through this novel he has Roger come to hate what he had become through the acts of torturing Arthur. He thought of himself as becoming a monster, which he was.
He also started to blame Hester for what he had become. “It is to the credit of human nature, that, except where its selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates. Hatred, by a gradual and quiet process, will even be transformed to love, unless the change be impeded by a continually new irritation of the original feeling of hostility. ” ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, Chapter XIII “Another View of Hester”. This quote shows what was happening to Roger, he was originally helping Arthur.
But as he stating putting the pieces together, that Arthur was Pearls father, he started gradually torturing him more and more. As I said before from anger comes revenge, and from revenge comes hatred. If a misdeed had come upon a loved one, we would come to hate the one responsible for the misdeed. Then there is remorse, which comes after the revenge and hatred, for you end up regretting what you have done. And all three sinners had shown remorse at some point or another.
Hester showed remorse by committing adultery; Arthur had remorse for committing adultery and for not standing on the scaffold and sharing the punishment with Hester; and Roger showed remorse for torturing Arthur after Arthur died on the scaffold. “If each man or woman could understand that every other human life is as full of sorrows, or joys, or base temptations, of heartaches and of remorse as his own . . . how much kinder, how much gentler he would be. ”~ William Allen White.
If Roger had just taken the time to notice the pain that Arthur was giving himself just from the remorse of keeping his misdeeds a secret, he probably would not have tortured Arthur to death. And then the remorse of today, every bad deed that is committed today the person who had committed that misdeed would definitely have some sort of remorse or guilt. And so, after four hundred years the human nature hasn’t really changed much. We all get angry, we all have hatred, and we all show remorse for a bad deed. Nathaniel Hawthorne was a brilliant writer that truly captured the problems of the human nature within his novels.