Isolation In 'Scarlet Letter And The Minister's Black Veil'

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In Heather James’ Fire, the first novel of the Elements of Power trilogy, she explains the consequences of isolating and secluding oneself: “Seclusion wasn't good for anyone; it made you forget how to protect yourself.” Seclusion can range from being alienated by other people, to staying in solitude, to isolating oneself on purpose. While people often go into seclusion with a motive or a reason, they can end up with negative traits because of it. This theme of isolation is discussed and implied in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s works of literature, especially The Scarlet Letter and “The Minister’s Black Veil.” In these works, Hawthorne elaborates on how different methods of isolation have their negative tolls on the different characters that experience …show more content…

Similarly to Pastor Hooper, although he was not physically isolated, Arthur Dimmesdale’s internal struggle regarding his sin was able to seclude him from the rest of society. He had a different state of mind compared to everyone else due to his inability to confess his adulterous sin. Hawthorne also shows the struggles he went through and the perceptions others had of him which made it harder for him to confess. In Chapter 3, “The Recognition,” regarding Dimmesdale, Reverend John Wilson states “‘But he opposes to me that it were wronging the very nature of woman to force her to lay open her heart’s secrets in such broad daylight, and in presence of so great a multitude. Truly, as I sought to convince him, the shame lay in the commission of the sin, and not in the showing of it forth’” (63). By including this quote, Hawthorne lets the audience know how Dimmesdale is perceived as a morally sound and judicious clergyman in the eyes of others, such as fellow clergymen. This introduction glorifies Dimmesdale as a leader and a man who has the gift of eloquence and

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