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The Scarlet Letter Essay Examples

Essay on The Scarlet Letter

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Dramatization of Isolation in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s `the Scarlet Letter’

Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter highlights the theme of seclusion throughout the whole book. Utilizing a variety of literary methods and descriptions of emotions and nature, Hawthorne has the ability to fully depict the inner feelings of hurt suffered by the central characters as an outcome of serious solitude and privacy. The excruciating of isolation, are experienced by the essential figures, Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth, each due to various scenarios and to different degrees. These characters…...

Rhetorical Analysis on the Scarlet Letter

Hawthorne effectively depicts the usage of prolonged metaphors, foreshadowing and language throughout the Scarlet Letter to easily get hold or comprehend the reader's mindful minds. To start with the usage of the extended metaphors-the lengthening of the average metaphor was developed in this passage to completely describe Pearls response to Reverend Dimmesdale's approach. "The kid, with bird-like movement which was one of her attributes, flew to him, and gripped her arms about his knees," is an amazing example of the…...

The Scarlet Letter Journal Entries

Journal 1: In the introduction, we learn about the nameless narrator who is the chief executive officer of the Salem Custom House. Since there are barely any ships that comes to Salem, the narrator spends his time trying to amuse himself. One rainy day he stumbles upon a pile of documents and finds a manuscript with a gold cloth in the shape of a letter A. It is a work written by Jonathan Pue, who had an interest in local…...

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Quotes from The Scarlet Letter

 "But she named the infant 'Pearl,' as being of great price- purchased with all she had- her mother's only pleasure." Ah, but let her cover the mark as she will, the pang of it will be always in her heart. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, Chapter II "The Market-Place" "the scarlet letter had the effect of the cross on a nun's bosom. It imparted to the wearer a kind of sacredness which enabled her to walk securely amid all peril.”…...

The scarlet letter

The Puritan Society is an important part of American history, it outlines America’s brief moment of theocracy and extreme social order. The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, depicts Boston, Massachusetts during the time of puritanism and follows a young woman, Hester Prynne, through her trials and tribulations under her sin. The Scarlet Letter is repetitive of its time period through Dimmesdale’s state of religious anxiety and self-punishment, the glorification of punishment by puritans, and puritan fear of witchcraft and…...

Importance of Tolerance

In the society that I have been raised in, I have always been taught to be accepting of others and not pass judgment on their race, culture or religion. I was told to leave my prejudice at home. In other societies, has this been the case as well? Through the close analysis and reading of four texts, I believe that this wasn’t the case and that intolerance and prejudicial attitudes were common. The four texts that I have chosen that…...

Protofeminism in The Scarlet Letter

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…...

“The Scarlet Letter” Chapters 1-3 Review

1. As the story opens a throng is gathered. Who are these people? Where and why are they gathered? Men with beards in sad-colored garments and crowned hats, there are also a few women. They are citizens and they are gathered outside, around the marketplace, to view Hester Prynne on a platform, with her scarlet letter. 2. The description in Chapter One of the people’s dress, the prison, and the surrounding vegetation serves to establish certain important impressions of Puritan…...

The Scarlet Letter as a Story of Crime and Punishment

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…...

John Proctor vs. Arthur Dimmesdale

The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible both have main characters that can relate to each other even though they are in two different stories. Arthur Dimmesdale, one of the main characters of The Scarlet Letter, is a respected reverend in society that commits a horrendous and sinful act, adultery, with a woman named Hester Prynne. John Proctor, a main character from The Crucible, commits adultery as well with his servant, Abigail Williams. These two characters, aside from the others that…...

Rhetorical analysis of "The Scarlet letter"

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…...

Motifs in "The Scarlet Letter" by Hawthorne

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's Among Society Today

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…...

No one person is perfect

No one person is perfect. Mistakes, just like water, are an essential part of life. It's not for our faults that we should be judged; rather it's the way we learn to accept our human nature and change for the better. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's Puritanical novel, The Scarlet Letter, the main character, Hester Prynne, commits an offense of infidelity against her husband, Roger Chillingworth. From then on her secret affair with the Puritan minister will always be on her mind…...

The Scarlet letter characters

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…...

The Scarlet Letter: A Psychological Analysis

"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…...

Individual vs. the Society in "The Scarlet Letter"

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…...

Chiaroscuro in The Scarlet Letter and "The Fall of the House of Usher"

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…...

Romanticism in "The Scarlet Letter"

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…...

Moral Law Vs Natural Law In The Scarlet Letter

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…...

The Heroism Of Hester Prynne

Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter focuses on seven years in the lives of four people living in a puritan community in seventeenth century Boston. Hester Prynne, the wife of Roger Chillingworth, falls in love with the Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale and the two have a child, Pearl. The novel explores the effects of adultery on these four characters. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "It is the surmounting of difficulties that makes heroes." A hero has the qualities of loyalty and bravery,…...

Witchcraft In The Scarlet Letter

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…...

To Kill A Mockingbird And The Scarlet Letter

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…...

"The Scarlet Letter" - Thesis

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…...

Mirror Imagery in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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…...

Theme of Individual Versus Society

Reverent Dimmesdale's journey through the story shows how his insecurities effect his decisions. Dimmesdale often let his thoughts of rejection from his life as a loved godly man take away from what he needed to do. He shows, by these actions, a want to be accepted that is so strong that it can overpower his churchly values. Dimmesdale's inner-conflict with his conscience demonstrates how his need to fit in with society overpowers his value to have a pure repented heart.…...

Guilt and Innocence in ''The Scarlet Letter''

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…...

Good and Evil in Scarlet Letter

"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…...

On the Symbolism of The Scarlet Letter

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…...

The Scarlet Letter and The Great Gatsby

Although set in vastly different cultures at different eras within American history, a common theme can be established when comparing The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald with The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Both novels, for example, examine the dichotomy between reality and appearance as well as the conflict between individual and social values. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale love each other. This love holds great personal value for them. However, because their relationship is…...

The Scarlet Letter Themes

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…...

The Scarlet Letter Theme: Revenge

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…...

Mysterious Death of Dimmesdale

One could say that Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is poisoned, or that he merely died of guilty conscience. In the Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Reverend Dimmesdale commits adultery with Hester Prynne, and so she bears a child. Dimmesdale does not admit his sin to the people in the community. Keeping the sin a secret for as long as he does creates guilt and suffering which manifests in him until his death. Chillingworth is Hester’s husband who is symbolic of a…...

Biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on July 4, 1804. His parents were Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Elizabeth Clark Manning. His father dies of yellow fever when he was four years old. He then grew up in the manning household with his grandparents, uncles, and aunts. Nathaniel Hawthorne was fond of taking long walks by himself and reading excessively. He studied Shakespeare, Pope, Milton, and Thompson. He went on adventures while he took these long walks and he wrote about…...

The Scarlet Letter Study Guide Questions

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…...

Similarities Between the Scarlet Letter and the Crucible

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…...

The Scarlet Letter - Pearl

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…...

The Scarlet Letter - Elements of Dark Romanticism

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…...

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s as Anti-Transcendentalist

Nathaniel Hawthorne an American romantic writer, whose literature is known for its Anti-Transcendentalism, wrote Young Goodman Brown and The Scarlet Letter. Nathaniel Hawthorne is a writer during the American Romantics, where the majority of writing is focused on nature, supernatural elements; one’s psychology and the criticism of society’s “norm”. Nathaniel is Hawthorne known for his notorious Anti-Transcendentalist literature. Anti-Transcendentalism ideals are about one’s evil and inner and sinful nature, where everyone is born evil and no matter what, and that…...

The Scarlet Letter: Hester Prynne and Feminism

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…...

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