Scarlet Letter Essay Examples

Essays on The Scarlet Letter

Puritan society was a strict society that was ruled primarily through religious beliefs. It was largely a man’s world where women were excluded from many societal events. In Puritan society, it was believed that the soul had two parts: the immortal masculine half and the mortal feminine half. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne describes a culture in which gender roles damage the progression of society. Nathaniel Hawthorne characterizes Hester as a more masculine figure in society, while Dimmesdale seems to take a more feminine and maternal role.

The Scarlet Letter Narrative Essay
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All through the novel, Hawthorne talks about the topics of sin, guilt and how society influences the molding of a person's character. He tends to the issue of deception and how hidden guilt can influence somebody. He additionally depicts the idea of wickedness in human form. Purity, honesty and joy are symbolized by Pearl. He composed this book to communicate and demonstrate the oppression of society in which he lived in. Hester's battle against society is like his own. Both,…...
Nathaniel HawthorneNovelsScarlet Letter
Scarlet Letter
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Critics debate who committed the greater sin, Hester, Chillingworth or Dimmesdale. Based on your understanding of the novel, explain your choice of the person who committed the greatest sin to someone who disagrees. Support your position with specific proof. "The Scarlet Letter" written by Nathaniel Hawthorne and first published in 1850, tells the story of a young woman who committed the sin of adultery. The two other main characters in this book are Reverend Minister Dimmesdale, the father of Hester…...
Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter Essays
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A discussion of false qualities in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter".Irish novelist Brian Moore observed, "There comes a point in many people's lives when they can no longer play the role they have chosen for themselves" (Bookshelf 95). From Hollywood movie stars to professional athletes, people have and will continue to lead false lives, under the public spotlight, concealing their personal travails. In literature, the preceding statement has held true numerous times, in works such as Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet…...
Nathaniel HawthorneScarlet Letter
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The Scaffold Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter English Literature Essay
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In Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter, the scaffold is a topographic point of both humiliation and rapprochement. The scaffold appearsA three times throughout the novelA at the beginning, in-between, and terminal. The novels four major charactersA and the vermilion missive `` A '' A are presentA inA all scaffold scenes. The scenesA maintain anA outlineA for the narrative and stress the novelsA most important themes.A The scaffold is inserted intoA the storyA for its practicalA intents but beginsA toA represent…...
EnglishLiteratureNathaniel HawthorneScarlet LetterSymbolism
Puritan Society in the Scarlet Letter
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In the introductory sketch to Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel the "The Scarlet Letter", the reader is informed that one of the author's ancestors persecuted the Quakers harshly. The latter's son was a high judge in the Salem witch trials, put into literary form in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" (Judge Hawthorne appears there). We learn that Hawthorne feels ashamed for their deeds, and that he sees his ancestors and the Puritan society as a whole with critical eyes. Consequently, both open and…...
ChristianityGodNathaniel HawthorneOriginal SinScarlet LetterSociety
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”
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A review of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter", focussing on the character, Hester.Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne and her daughter Pearl are isolated from society; this is shown by where they live, the action from people toward Pearl and Pearl's reaction, and finally the response of the community toward Hester's scarlet letter. Hester and Pearl are isolated by living so far out as they do. Pearl shows signs that she is brought…...
Nathaniel HawthorneScarlet Letter
Hypocrisy in “The Scarlet Letter”
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THis paper presents a critical review on Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, "The Scarlett Letter", focusing on the issue of hypocrisy evident within it.The Scarlet H The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is about the trials and tribulations of Hester Prynne, a woman living in colonial Boston. Found guilty of adultery, Hester's punishment is to wear a visible symbol of her sin: the scarlet letter "A." Through the book, the reader comes to know Hester, the adulteress; Dimmesdale, the holy man Hester…...
Nathaniel HawthorneScarlet Letter
The Dual, Blurred Symbolism of The Scarlet Letter
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In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne creates a startling vision, rife with meaning and symbolism. The book is unique in that Hawthorne leaves the reader in a state of flux; there is no "bad guy," there is no definite conclusion, good is not triumphant over evil. The finish of the story does not end in "happily ever after," but in a feeling of inscrutability; the loose ends are tied, yet left open for the reader to image what comes next.…...
Nathaniel HawthorneScarlet LetterSymbolism
Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter words is communicated by the
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Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter words is communicated by the symbols. Even more, all though The House of the Seven Gables he used similar images in the Pynchon women, he explored a forerunner who communicates with future generations through symbols. Alice Pynchon, Phoebe's great, great, great-aunt, reveals the necessity of an inventive sensibility during the music of her harpsichord or musical instrument and her posies. In The House of the Seven Gables Alice's posies are linked to the rose cipher in…...
Nathaniel HawthorneScarlet Letter
Analysis Of The Scarlet Letter
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In The Scarlet Letter, Nathanial Hawthorne made it quite evident that Pearl was a very symbolic character. As we know, following Hester’s act of adultery, she became pregnant with Pearl and we get the sense that there is something strange and unnatural about her when fist introduced. This is relevant to her symbolism and the many attributes that she represents. Throughout the novel, her symbolism ranges from being equated to evil, sin, and innocence. Furthermore, it is also possible that…...
Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter Scaffold Scenes
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The Scarlet Letter Interpretive Essay In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the Reverend Dimmesdale is the central conflict of the story. He is torn between his need to accept and pronounce his sin and Pearl as his daughter and his love of freedom. His demeanor drastically changes from the first scaffold scene, where he is seen as a two-faced criticizer to the third and final scaffold scene, where he humbly repents and acknowledges his sin publicly. The three scaffold scenes…...
Scarlet Letter
The theme of Sin and Redemption in ‘The Scarlet Letter’
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‘The Scarlet Letter’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the story of Hester Prynne, the protagonist of the novel. She is a married woman living in Boston. She commits the sin of adultery and her partner in sin is Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester Prynne is deeply sinned and she is guilty of adultery. However, the public humiliation she faces because of her confessed sin does not destroy her inward spirit but rather redeems her from her sin. As a result of her repentance,…...
Hester PrynneScarlet Letter
Irony in the Scarlet Letter
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"Irony regards every simple truth as a challenge. " When reading a story, the events that have already presented themselves, lead a person to perceive what is going to happen, but when that person encounter an unexpected event, as commonly experienced through irony, it changes what the person perceives is going to happen. The Scarlet Letter exemplifies this use of irony to challenge truth. Hawthorne provides details about a specific character, but then creates an event which stands in contrast…...
IronyScarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter: An Exploration Of The Theme Of Sin
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the Victorian era The 17th century was the century which lasted in England from January 1, 1601 to December 31, 1700 in the Gregorian calendar. The 17th century falls into the Early Modern period of Europe and in that continent was characterized by the Dutch Golden Age, the Baroque cultural movement, the French Grand Siècle dominated by Louis XIV, the Scientific Revolution, and The General Crisis. This last is characterized in Europe most notably by the Thirty Years' War, the…...
CultureNathaniel HawthorneScarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter: Hester Prynne and Feminism
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Female inferiority is prevalent in Puritan society. However, in The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne exhibits the principles, independence, and charm that defy typical feminine requirements in the 17th century. Thus, Hester becomes a feminist champion in the book through her extraordinary attributes and her assistance for Arthur Dimmesdale. To begin, Hester Prynne's excellent looks, talent, and untainted principles separate her from regular Puritans and elevates her status in the narrative. Most importantly, her beauty separates her from…...
FeminismHester PrynneNathaniel HawthorneScarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter – Elements of Dark Romanticism
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The novel, The Scarlet letter, can be described as both a psychological romance as well as a historical novel. This story takes place on a puritan settlement in 17th century Boston. At this time, Puritans believed in living by the bible and that God drew the soul of man to salvation. They also viewed nature as "evil" or "corrupt". On the contrary, Transcendentalist/Romantics rejected Puritan religious attitudes and admired nature. They also believed in a higher knowledge than that achieved…...
RomanticismScarlet LetterTranscendentalism
The Scarlet Letter – Pearl
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Pearl is an ironic and contradictory symbolism of pure and gracefulness. It is ironic that she is the child born to two great sinners. The way Hawthorn creates Pearl is by combining great contradictions together. Pearl is a misbehaving and mischievous child always showered by praise and wrapped with great angelical beauty. Hawthorne begins to develop Pearl’s character by opening up with a short aphorism describing Pearl as a child with “no physical defects. He builds off this statement about…...
Scarlet LetterThe Pearl
Similarities Between the Scarlet Letter and the Crucible
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In The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible, you may find similar themes in these novels The Scarlet Letter features Hester Prynne that commits a shameful sin, that being adultery. Related to The Scarlet Letter, In The Crucible concerns a group of girls that are said to also commit a shameful sin, which is witchcraft. However the children lie and say and said that all they did was “dance” in the woods. Even though both these novels have different plots, themes…...
Scarlet LetterThe Crucible
The Scarlet Letter Study Guide Questions
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Chapter 1 “The Prison Door” 1. What colony is the setting for the novel? Boston Massachusetts 2. Where in the colony does the opening chapter take place? In the jail 3. For what 2 “practical necessities” did the new colony set aside land? A cemetery and a prison. 4. Who is Anne Hutchinson? How does Hawthorne feel about her? Anne Hutchinson was a religious but freewheeling woman who disagreed with Puritanical teachings, and as a result she was imprisoned in…...
Public ShamingScarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter Theme: Revenge
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Revenge is the defining theme in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. It is the driving force behind the actions of the main antagonist Roger Chillingworth. In the novel his obsession for revenge is seen as an uncontrollable desire that consumes the character. Chillingworth told his wife, Hester Prynne, that he would find the adulterer and have him punished. He wanted Hester’s partner to suffer the same humiliation she had to endure. Chillingworth wanted him to stand on the scaffold for…...
RevengeScarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter Themes
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The Scarlet Letter is a novel that describes the psychological anguish of two principle characters, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimondale. They are both suffering under, while attempting to come to terms with, their mutual sin of adultery in a strict Puritan society. As critics immediately recognized upon publication of the novel in 1850, one of its principal themes involved conflict between the individual and society. Hawthorne represents the stern and threatening force of Puritan society in the first sentence of…...
Public ShamingScarlet Letter
On the Symbolism of The Scarlet Letter
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Introduction: Nathaniel Hawthorne is a great romantic novelist in America in the 19th century. His novel, The Scarlet Letter, is considered as the first American psychological novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It reveals the psychological insight with which Hawthorne proved guilt and anxiety in the human soul. The Scarlet Letter is deeply concerned with ethical problems of sin, punishment, and atonement. The background of the story is set in Salem, Massachusetts, a strictly controlled Puritan town with harsh laws and…...
Hester PrynneScarlet LetterSymbolism
Good and Evil in Scarlet Letter
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"Inside each of us, there is the seed of both good and evil. It's a constant struggle as to which one will win. And one cannot exist without the other" (Burdon). The novel _The Scarlet Letter_ perfectly illustrates this point using complex and intricate characters that mirror reality with both positive and negative aspects of their personas. The story begins in mid-17th century New England with Hester Prynne being publicly humiliated for having a child out of wedlock. She is…...
Good And EvilHester PrynneNathaniel HawthorneScarlet Letter
Guilt and Innocence in ”The Scarlet Letter”
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Knowledge and sin connect in the Judeo-Christian tradition in the story of Adam and Eve. Sin becomes the outcome in the story of Adam and Eve when they get thrown out of the Garden of Eden. After their banishment from the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve must work and bear children. Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale experience similar situations as Adam and Eve in the novel _The Scarlet Letter_ written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. For Hester, the scarlet letter becomes…...
GuiltHester PrynneNathaniel HawthorneScarlet Letter
Mirror Imagery in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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According to research in the field of psychology, guilt manifests itself in many ways. Often those who feel guilty see assurances for their feeling in the action of others—even when the public has no interest in his or her private life. In a conservative society, however, rules are imposed upon him or her, barring the person from moving ahead with their life, no matter how insignificant the crime. Michael L. Lasser takes a similar approach, arguing that Pearl is a…...
Nathaniel HawthorneScarlet Letter
“The Scarlet Letter” – Thesis
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One main theme present in the work "The Scarlet Lette" is that of sin and guilt. Nathaniel Hawthorne attempts to show how guilt can be a form of everlasting punishment. The book represents sin and guilt through symbolism and character development. In his novel, "The Scarlet Letter", Nathaniel Hawthorne explains how the punishment of guilt causes the most suffering among those affected. As with any piece, symbolism plays an important role in representing the main ideas of a novel. The…...
Hester PrynneScarlet Letter
To Kill A Mockingbird And The Scarlet Letter
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In literature, evil often triumphs but never conquers." This simply means that in works of literature evil can hold the upper hand from the start, but in the end good will always devour the evil. This can be proven true throughout two classic novels, To Kill A Mocking Bird written by Harper Lee, and The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. First, it can clearly be seen that in the novel To Kill A Mocking Bird that characterization helps a…...
Scarlet LetterTo Kill A Mockingbird
Analysis of Quotation from Scarlet Letter
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"After putting her finger in her mouth, with many ungracious refusals to answer good Mr. Wilson's question, the child finally announced that she had not been made at all, but had been plucked by her mother off the bush of wild roses, that grew by the prison- door." (Hawthorne, 76) Pearl feels a connection to the rose because she is like a rose. A rose grows from something dirty and ugly yet very natural. This is Hester and Dimmesdale. Their…...
Scarlet Letter
Witchcraft In The Scarlet Letter
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Throughout The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne continually uses witchcraft and the devil as a theme. Hester Prynne, the main character, emerges from a prison in the first few pages of the book. So from the very beginning, it is known that she has committed a great sin of some kind. Many other characters other than Hester also have a connection with the dark side. It is this association with the devil that eventually brings about the demise of one of…...
Hester PrynneScarlet Letter
Moral Law Vs Natural Law In The Scarlet Letter
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Moral Law Vs. Natural Law "At the dramatic center of The Scarlet Letter is the idea of the awesomeness and inescapability of the Moral Law, to which all else is finally submitted," (Levy 384). Assuming that Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter exploring the relationship between Moral law and Natural law, he chooses the moral laws to be absolute. Using definitions of nature and character provided by Seymour Katz applied to the terms natural law and moral law allow an extension…...
LawMoralNatural LawScarlet LetterTruth
Romanticism in “The Scarlet Letter”
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A Scarlet RomanceIt is the year 1644, Boston Massachusetts, and the stage is set for one of the most famous romance novels of our time. The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne set a genre standard for American Romanticism, with an intrinsic love of nature, sense of freedom of imagination and emotion, and the low regard Hawthorne holds for organized religion and all that it entails. In his novel, Hawthorne builds on the standards of romanticism, as the trend away from…...
CultureNathaniel HawthorneRomanticismScarlet Letter
Chiaroscuro in The Scarlet Letter and “The Fall of the House of Usher”
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Mother, said little Pearl, the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom. In Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne has committed the sin of adultery and wears a scarlet A on her chest to condemn her. Hawthorne develops the personalities of Hester Prynne, Pearl, and Arthur Dimmesdale by using the function of light and dark images in his writing. In Edgar Allan Poes The Fall of…...
Hester PrynneScarlet LetterThe Fall of the House of Usher
Individual vs. the Society in “The Scarlet Letter”
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In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the theme of the individual versus society is prevalent. One of the most intriguing characters in the novel is Hester Prynne, who is ostracized by the society around her. Hawthorne uses symbols to accentuate how Hester chooses to accept her branded punishment as a moral obligation rather than a mark of shame. Her individualism is achieved through a clear conscience and accepting the fact that she is unique, distanced from the Puritans surrounding…...
Hester PrynneScarlet LetterSociety
The Scarlet Letter: A Psychological Analysis
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"I experienced a sensation...of burning heat; and as if the letter sere not of red cloth, but red-hot iron." These words in the introduction to The Scarlet Letter describe the letter as an object that contains power. The power left in the little red piece of cloth represents all the emotional toil that was associated with it - guilt, pain, betrayal, and vengeance. Throughout the novel the letter will stir all these emotions, creating an intense psychological drama. Nathaniel Hawthorne…...
Nathaniel HawthornePsychologyScarlet Letter
The Scarlet letter characters
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Of all the characters in The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, the protagonist, is the strongest and most courageous. But, that is not to say that she is unsusceptible to change. Over the course of the novel, Hester remains unchanged in some areas, such as strength and honesty, but her beauty and social status vary greatly. One trait that defines Hester throughout the novel is strength. Strength in the mind and also in the heart is what makes Hester a striking…...
CharacterHester PrynneScarlet Letter
Scarlet Letter’s Among Society Today
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There are many types of "scarlet letter's" in modern day life that apply to all in any given society. A type of "scarlet letter" in today's society is none other than appearance and self-presentation. Another "scarlet letter" that all people are subjected to, especially earlier in life, is popularity and recognition. One more "scarlet letter" example in modern day society is money. Appearance and presentation has involved itself in society too much. If certain people in society don't like an…...
PopularityScarlet LetterSociety
Motifs in “The Scarlet Letter” by Hawthorne
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In a novel of sin and redemption, symbolism is used to broaden the significance of certain aspects. Throughout The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses a barrage of themes, motifs, and symbolisms. These images help to unify the novel and enrich the meaning behind the work. Early in the novel, Hawthorne refers to iron, oak, chains mainly to demonstrate the Puritanism that takes place in the novel. However, he also uses these symbolic items to display the bonds between characters and what…...
Scarlet Letter
Rhetorical analysis of “The Scarlet letter”
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Paper Type:Rhetorical essays
Pearls have always held a great price to mankind, but no pearl has ever been earned at as high a cost to a person as Nathaniel Hawthorne's powerful heroine Hester Prynne. Her daughter Pearl, born into a Puritan prison in more ways than one, is an enigmatic character serving entirely as a vehicle for symbolism. From her introduction as an infant on her mother's scaffold of shame, Pearl is an empathetic and intelligent child. Throughout the story she absorbs the…...
RhetoricScarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter as a Story of Crime and Punishment
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The Scarlet Letter is an exemplification of the theme of Crimeand Punsihment. It is mainly the story of Crime, say sexual crim, and the consequences arising therefrom. The act of adulteyr is certainly a crime against the individual, be that individual, the wronged wife or a hsuband. Similarly it is also a crime against society, for it involves that violation of a moral code formulated and honored by that society. Adultery has been branded as immoral in all civilized communities…...
Crime And PunishmentScarlet Letter
Protofeminism in The Scarlet Letter
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In the eyes of some, The Scarlet Letter may seem like a protofeminist novel. In the eyes of some, had Hester been a man, her punishment would not have been nearly as embarrassing and deceitful. In the eyes of some, Hester did nothing but the right thing based on her trying to protect other women from gender-based prosecution, though it meant completely disregarding Puritan laws in her society. Then again, in the eyes of some, Hester deserved all of the…...
FeminismHester PrynneHillary ClintonScarlet LetterSocial Issues
We've found 45 essay examples on Scarlet Letter
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Hester Prynne Character 

In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, adulteress Hester Prynne must wear a scarlet A in order to publicly shame her for her sins. Arthur Dimmesdale stays unidentified as a part in the town’s most scandalous affairs and due to this, he is wracked with guilt, while her significant other, Roger Chillingworth, looks for retribution against Hester’s sin. The Scarlet Letter provides an interesting take on what truly happens in Puritan Boston and how religious-based towns may not always be as proper as they seem.

The characters in The Scarlet Letter take on progressive roles that are new to Puritan Boston, and Hawthorne decides to characterize them through the self-pain that each afflicts on him/herself or on others. The most prevalent character is Hester Prynne, a woman shunned by society due to her taking on a more masculine role. Hawthorne shows her strong character through all of the pain she endures, revealed through public humiliation — usually endured by a male — and isolated life in Puritan society. Before wearing the scarlet letter she may have gone her entire life without being noticed; however, now she is front and center basking in her unfortunate fame. Hester Prynne is a Puritan woman who challenges traditional beliefs in the community and transcends what is determined by the community to be her role as a female.

Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale

The next character who directly juxtaposes Hester Prynne through his feminine personality and actions is Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. As a Puritan preacher, he is displayed as the perfect example of the Puritan faith, yet, he cannot even maintain his role in society, much less preach how to be the perfect Puritan in God’s eyes. Since he is a genuine believer, his affair with Hester Prynne heavily weighs on him. He privately acknowledges his guilt, — juxtaposing how Hester endures humiliation (publically), which usually is contributed to male figures, while Dimmesdale puts the most guilt upon himself, usually contributed to female figures — and until he announces and acknowledges it publicly, he cannot begin to repent for it. The conflict between his role as a spiritual leader and the gravity of his personal sin shows how he wants to conform to society as a high-regarded male figure in his public life, yet in private he truly wants to have feminine characteristics.

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Criticism of Puritan Ways

Themes in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne include criticism of Puritan beliefs regarding sin, social isolation, and dominating patriarchy. Sin is one of the major themes that appear continually throughout the book. Not only does sin mean an act against the religious normalities, but also a rebellion against the traditional society. Once the act between Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale becomes known to the public, Hester is sentenced because adultery is one of the biggest sins to the church and the church rules over the government and society. While Dimmesdale remains free due to his position, status, and influence, Hester has to go through taxing isolation due to her daughter, Pearl. Dimmesdale’s sin becomes a psychological stigma; he goes through severe depression just to prevent his downfall in society. “What can thy silence do for him, except it tempt him–yea, compel him, as it were–to add hypocrisy to sin?’ shows that as Dimmesdale remains silent sins pile on top of him until it eventually engulfs him. The result of the sins enacted by Hester allows for grueling social isolation to be another major theme of the novel. Hawthorne leans toward the feminist side in this novel; the fact that Hester unjustly suffered shows that The Scarlet Letter is more of a condemnation of the Puritan moral code of that time. Feminine resilience is not just a myth in The Scarlet Letter; it is a fact as well. Hester Prynne’s endurance of her suffering concludes that she was able to suffer more than an ordinary man in her circumstances. 

Criticism of Society and Male Dominance 

“While this passed, Hester Prynne had been standing on her pedestal, still with a fixed gaze toward the stranger … all other objects in the visible world seemed to vanish, leaving only him and her” which shows the connection between Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth and how their sins are now pronounced due to this connection. The domination of the patriarchy is another theme. While the novel opens with an anonymous narrator telling the story of a woman, the narrator is a male describing the male-dominated society. Men have created and enforced legislation, formed the religious standards, and also arranged Hester’s trial. “A tendency to speculation, though it may keep a woman quiet, as it does a man, yet makes her sad. She discerns, it may be, such a hopeless task before her” because Hester does not feel that life is worth living in this society if one is a woman. While this novel is a condemnation of the social normalities of the time, it is also an unconscious criticism of male domination.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne provides a new change to the conservative society. With this change, he also provides the effects of introducing a transcendentalist and feminist like Hester Prynne so early in American history. Hawthorne makes many commentaries on the Puritan society as a whole while showing how the world needs more people like Hester Prynne who will break through societal trends. 

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