Human Nature In The Scarlet Letter Essay

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Beginning in seventeenth century Boston, Massachusetts, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays the fortitude of the Puritan society as well as major imperfections of its beliefs and religion. Using his familiarity of the Puritan ways of life, Hawthorne not only expresses his fondness of the culture, but also institutes a concern for the judgmental and irrational behaviors that are enforced by the Puritan religion. Hugo McPherson has claimed, “Hawthorne’s rejection of the Calvinist view of human nature, however, does not lead him to espouse the cause of man’s “natural goodness,” the Transcendental view. For him there is an ideal, perfect realm, and an imperfect, human realm. Human nature is inevitably imperfect. But the fatal error…show more content…
He emphasizes the good and evil of human nature by providing his characters with both good and evil qualities. The evolution of the ways of life through generations is reflected into the novel by the ideas of his characters. Although Hester and Dimmesdale have sinned, they are able to reach redemption through the author’s acceptance of human nature as a whole. Hester has struggled through humiliation and shame, but her strength throughout her journey has helped her to lose the shame of the scarlet letter and gain independence to further her life and escape the judgment and criticism of the town. As for Dimmesdale, the revealing of his secret as well as the love and acceptance from both Hester and Pearl allow him to reach peace through his death. “It bore a device, a herald’s wording of which might serve for a motto and brief description of our now concluded legend; so sombre is it, and relieved only by one ever-glowing point of light gloomier than the shadow:- “On a Field, Sable, The Letter A, Gules” (Hawthorne 280). As their deaths arrived, both Hester and Dimmesdale were buried beside each other and the motto on the tombstone they share expressed the conclusion of their legend as well as their lives together. In the end, the quality of goodness portrayed in the novel overpowered the quality of evil and ultimately resulted in the redemption of the
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