Crime And Punishment In The Scarlet Letter Essay

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Statement of problem Hawthorne’s high rank among American novelists is due to three main aspects of his work: first, his novels show him to be a skillful craftsman. He has a sense of unity of structure. Hawthorne shows a sense of style also. His style of writing is remarkable for its directness, clarity and firmness. There is an infallible rightness of language in his style. Secondly, Hawthorne work provides evidence of his deep moral nature and keen insights. Having inherited the moral earnestness of the puritan tradition, he is everywhere concerned with original sin. Thirdly, Hawthorne is a master of allegory and symbolism. Twentieth century has recognized the merit of his allegorical method. Crime and punishment is the major theme in the scarlet letter as it is the story of crime and punishment, both on the…show more content…
Early in the book, he speaks of the “early severity of the Puritan character”. Among the people of the time religion and law were almost identical, and both were so thoroughly interconnected in their character that “the mildest and the severest acts of public discipline were alike made venerable and awful”. In view of all this a sinner like Hester Prynne could have expected no sympathy from the town people. The conversation of some of the female spectators of Hester Prynne’s public disgrace clearly shows the narrowly puritanical ideas that governed their thinking. These women were not satisfied with the punishment that has been imposed upon Hester Prynne. If these women had been the judges, this sinner would not have come off with such a light punishment. At the very least, says one of these self-righteous gossips, “they should have put the brand of a heart iron on Hester Prynne’s forehead”. Says another, “this woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die. Is there not law for it”. The puritan law of the time allowed for a sentence of death for an
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