Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter tells the story of the life of Hester Prynne an adulteress forced to wear a Scarlet “A” on her bosom by the sinister Puritan society to mark her shame. As her husband seeks revenge for the unidentified lover, Arthur Dimmesdale stays wracked with guilt. The Scarlet Letters symbolism and use of allusions, metaphors, setting, irony, diction, and varied tone helps to unwrap the characters throughout the novel. Hawthornes motives for writing the The Scarlet Letter was to show how women can be equally as strong and independent as men as men can also be morally weak. Hawthorne uses his abilities to weave tone, mood, and style all into one story questioning his purpose of this tragic tale of shame and redemption.
Character Foils In The Scarlet Letter Those who contrast each other make for engrossing storytelling. Nathaniel Hawthorne demonstrates this truth often in his romantic narrative, “The Scarlet Letter”. The novel tells a despondent tale of a woman convicted of adultery who must live out her shame condemned from society by the embroidered scarlet “A” she is commanded to wear while perpetually haunted by her estranged husband who is on a self proclaimed undertaking to find her lover. Through the text, the reader is hastened through a multitude of feelings for the few main characters they meet. Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth are a set of character foils through their opposing physical descriptions, contrasting mental states, and their driving motivations throughout the novel.
In this essay I will explore these examples to determine whether this thesis is true. From the moment she conceived Pearl, Hester confessed that she had commited adultery. At frst, the townspeople looked down on Hester as just a living reminder of sin. Nevertheless, once Hester began doing charity work, “Hester bestowed all her superfluous means in charity, on wretches less miserable than herself, and who not unfrequently insulted the hand that fed them”(87.) The people began to notice her more as the person she is, rather than what the scarlet “A” defined her as “The letter was the symbol of her calling.
To begin, Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes pathos throughout his writing to imprint the importance of individual conscience into the reader 's mind. Hawthorne begins the book by having the reader pity the main character, Hester Prynne, as she is a young, husbandless, mother in a society that shames her for her unfortunate circumstances: “haughty as her demeanor was, she perchance underwent an agony from every footstep of those that thronged to see her, as if her heart had been flung in the street for them all to spurn and trample upon” (Hawthorne, 53). The consistent misfortune of Prynne evokes emotion in the reader and stresses the weight of her decisions. Prynne manages her way through such a hostile society -“Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly on your bosom” (Hawthorne, 188)- in a way that is metaphorically applicable to the real world, allowing the reader to truly connect and understand the character for who they are. This connection adheres with the reader, whether it be conscious or not, and affects their day to day life, changing how readers view situations given to them ranging in
Jonathan Edwards’s sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and Anne Bradstreet’s “Upon the Burning of Our House” seem at first glance quite similar to one another regarding context, however, after taking a closer look, it becomes apparent that there are some substantial differences. These differences cannot be understood without the knowledge of cultural context concerning the Puritan belief system and their lifestyle. “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was written with the sole purpose of scaring and intimidating the people that purtinans believed to be sinners. Edwards’s work contributed to a movement called “The Great Awakening”. It’s objective was to make the so-called ‘sinners’ aware of their wrongdoings and compel them to repent.
For committing such a sinful act, Hester must wear the scarlet letter while also having to bear stares from those that gossip about her. Nonetheless, it will be hard; Hester is steadfast to make her daughter Pearl, have a life, just like any other ordinary child. Hester is a remarkable, but peculiar character,
All of these characters have either been a victim of hypocrisy or have been exposed by hypocrisy by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hester Prynne is seen as the unlawfully convicted by being burdened with the scarlet A, but does the punishment fit the crime? Hester Prynne did indeed commit adultery, but the burden of the letter A on her chest caused more harm than good. For example, the townspeople would gossip, insult, and even preach, about her while she was at church, just passing by, even while her child was present. The Puritans are so hypocritical that they claim how holy they are, but are so hateful.
In The Scarlet Letter, The scarlet letter at first was a symbol of her sin of adultery, but as time went on it became a symbol of her being able and being like an angel. The scarlet letter to the Puritan people was a symbol of disgrace and dishonor, until they saw the good works Herster was doing. Hester saw the letter as something that she had done, but the letter became part of her. The scarlet letter affected how Hester’s raised Pearl and who Pearl is as a person. The scarlet letter caused many changes in the lives of the people who saw it and to Hester, the one that wore it.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" the story is a profusion of symbols, hidden lies, and sin. The protagonist is Hester Prynne, a beautiful young woman who is oppressed for her infidelity and has to wear a crimson letter 'A'. This letter not only represents she is an adulterer, but is a constant reminder of her diminishing reputation and the loss of acceptance in the puritan community. Hester gets pregnant and as result a beautiful baby named Pearl is born.The illegitimate daughter also has a father. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is perceived as a man of God, but shares the same sin as Hester.
This is actually the plight of Baram Alkali’s case in Personal Angle. According to her, a woman may react by self-pity and tears followed by a hardness to love as is Zaria’s reaction, sentimental, passive almost bordering on martyrdom. A wife may immerse herself in the hurt and pain of unrequited and neglected love leading to psychosis as is the case with Zaria. She demonstrates her guts and feminine will power to make a break of it and claim back her name and identity. Even after her separation from her husband, Alhaji Teller lusts hopelessly after her but she refuses to give in preferring to maintain her dignity.
She had kept those emotions pent up inside her not because she was scared of Jody but as a sign of strength to be able to persevere under such circumstances. The situation had worsened between them as years went by, and Jody had even passed away due to an illness. After Jody passed, Janie hadn’t really felt any feelings of remorse for him, because the relation between them had worsened. At this point, she felt a true feeling of independence. These were a couple of examples of how she was
The scarlet letter begins its role as a symbol in the novel by bearing a penal meaning, as a punishment for an adulterer. The scarlet letter initially manifested itself as the embodiment of sin. If the sacred command, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” did not exist the rest of Hester’s existence would completely change and the sin would disappear. But alas, for Hester the strict puritan community forces her to wear the scarlet letter. Consequently, she must bear with her the association between the ornate fabric has: “The magistrates are God-fearing gentlemen, but merciful overmuch,—that is a truth," added a third autumnal matron.
“Your are free to make your own choices. But, you are not free to choose your own consequences”-Author unknown. In Tim Akers book, Heart of Veridon, the main character, Jacob Burn, comes to find himself suddenly in the middle of one of the largest conflicts which has taken place. Such as in life, Jacob came to find himself in this position due to poor decisions he made. From receiving a stole cog to being disowned by both factions of his family, all conflicts in this story come from Jacob Burns’ own misdoing.