How Does Hawthorne Use The Balance Between Good And Evil In The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the 1850s, was based on a story in the 1640s. The Scarlet Letter is a story based around the main character Hester and the letter "A" which stands for adultery. Hester commits adultery with the town's puritan minister and now has to wear the letter “A” on her bosom because of her sin. With Hester’s sin, Hester has her daughter Pearl at a “great price” by Dimmesdale, the town minister. Nobody in town happens to know Dimmesdale is the father. In his novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses the Wild Rose Bush, the Scarlet Letter, and Hester’s Cabin to show that good and evil naturally work together and balance each other out. To begin, Hawthorne uses the Wild Rosebush to show that it is …show more content…

Hester is the main character in the book and she is forced to wear the red scarlet letter “A” which stands for her sin of adultery. Hawthorne narrates, “On the breast of her gown in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A” (Hawthorne 59). This quote shows how the scarlet letter is evil and Hester's committing adultery is bad. The townspeople only see Hester as a bad person as she always has to wear the letter A around her bosom. Over time, Hester shows the townspeople that she is a good person by helping the sick, buying bread for the poor, and counseling men and women. Later, townspeople see Hester as a good Samaritan and that she reflects the more simple life the Puritans lead. Hester is treated with respect because of her pleasant acts of helping the sick. Hawthorne explains, “Such helpfulness was found in her,—so much power to do, and power to sympathize,—that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength” (Hawthorne 196). Now, the scarlet letter is not used to represent evil as in the beginning because of Hester’s sin. It is now used to show “able” in Hester because she is more than just her sin. She is now “able”. Nobody in the town no longer shames her for past sins and they …show more content…

Hester's cabin is between the town which is considered to be good, and the other half of her cabin is in the forest which is considered bad. Hawthorne is an anti-transcendentalist, who thinks all humans are naturally evil and that we have more evil than good in our being. Believing humans can not be trusted and we all have an odd darkness in ourselves that cannot be understood. Hawthorne chronicles, “On the outskirts of the town, within the verge of the peninsula, but not in close vicinity to any other habitation, there was a small thatched cottage” (Hawthorne 94). This quote explains living on the outskirts of the town to show Hester is an outcast. Hester is an outcast because of her sin and doesn’t fit under the puritan impression perfectly. Hawthorne continues, “It stood on the shore, looking across a basin of the sea at the forest-covered hills, towards the west” (Hawthorne 94). This explains the other half of where Hester’s cabin which is the forest. Half of her cabin is in the forest because the forest is looked at as evil. Hester sinned, and that represents her evil side. Hester’s cabin is a good contrast between the natural good and evil in humans as the story shows how Hester’s cabin is between both good and

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