Individualism In The Scarlet Letter

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Nathaniel Hawthorne played an important role in the American Romantic Movement. The Scarlet Letter is his masterpiece, in which he tells the story of a young, beautiful woman named Hester, who lives in the Puritan town of Boston. Hester is sentenced to wear the scarlet letter “A” on her dress, which signifies her adulterous affair. The product of this forbidden love is an insightful girl named Pearl. Hawthorne’s use of nature, emotion, and imagination in order to show the importance of individuality makes The Scarlet Letter a magnificent romantic novel. To begin with, Hester acts as an individualist in the story. Although Hester has challenged the Puritans’ rules and people look at her as an outcast, she finds a place for herself in the society through her charity and needle works. As a result, people start interpreting the scarlet letter as “Able” instead of “Adulterer” (Hawthorne 158). The narrator describes Hester as a heroic individual who accepts her punishment by keeping the scarlet letter on her chest and starts rebuilding her life. Although Hester thinks that Reverend Dimmesdale, her lover, must be happy that nobody knows about his affair with Hester, Dimmesdale tells her, “I should long ago have thrown off these garments of mock holiness, and have shown myself to mankind as they will see me at the judgment seat. Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly upon your bosom! Mine burns in secret!” (Hawthorne 188). Different from Hester, Dimmesdale has
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