How Does Hawthorne Use Cliches In The Scarlet Letter

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One action, a split second decision can undo all good deeds in a person 's life. This often occurs in novels such as The Crucible by Arthur Miller or The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne where characters make a life altering decision that causes them pain in the end. These character traits are used so often it becomes something of a stereotype, similar to the characters’ personalities in these iconic novels. The authors use cliches to express the idea that kind hearted people can become sinners despite their goodness. Through all of the symbolism in the story, Hawthorne clears up any confusion by saying that good people, like all others, commit sins. In order to prove his point Hawthorne presents Hester as truly “beautiful from regularity …show more content…

Arthur Dimmesdale, the minister, a clergyman had committed the horrid sin of adultery, the same sin as Hester. Dimmesdale’s holy affiliation gave him a kind and pure disposition and this was solidified by his dimwittedness, making him seem almost childlike. By having a character with these qualities, Hawthorne contradicts the stereotype he has set up by having Dimmesdale be “unworth...[y] to [complete his] humblest mission” (71), a quality virtually unheard of among ministers. The author then has Dimmesdale confess his “sin so awfully revealed!”(211) in order for both Hester and Dimmesdale to redeem themselves of sin and restore the goodness. Hawthorne wanted his readers to understand that two people who have sinned can seek forgiveness and receive it. Throughout the story many stereotypes are expressed and Hawthorne used the listed stereotypes to express the idea that all people, both pure of heart and evil of soul, commit sins. When Hester, a beautiful, young woman and Dimmesdale a minister have an affair, thus committing a sin, they both provide an example of a cliche that good people make poor decisions. Hawthorne used Hester and Dimmesdale as stereotypes to prove that all people, no matter the morale or disposition, commit

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