The Scarlet Letter, a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850, functions as an evaluation of Puritan ideas, customs, and culture during the 17th century. Through this evaluation, we can get a good idea of what core values and beliefs the Puritans possessed, as well as the actions they take in cases of adversity brought about by “sinners”. Some Puritan virtues created stark divisions between groups of people, some of which led to discrimination under certain circumstances. One of the most prominent of these is the treatment and standards of men and women, a concept that surfaced during some of the major points in The Scarlet Letter. The divisions that were created by Puritan standards of men and women played a great role in shaping the plot of The Scarlet Letter, determining the fate of many of the characters.
First in The Scarlet Letter, we were taught by Hawthorne about overcoming the initial stereotypes and biases of specific characters in the novel including himself. The author uses slow transitions in the novel to change our The view and his portrayal of Hester. He also uses Hester’s character to compare and bring attention to himself. Hester in particular, is first described in the novel by Hawthorne as deviant
Nathaniel Hawthorne, a famous American author from the antebellum period, notices the emphasis on individual freedoms in the works by Ralph Waldo Emerson and other Transcendentalists during his residency in the Brook Farm’s community. In response to these ideas, Hawthorne writes The Scarlet Letter, a historical novel about Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale’s lives as they go through ignominy, penance, and deprecation from their Puritan community to express their strong love for each other. Their love, even though it is true, is not considered as holy nor pure because of Hester past marriage to Roger Chillingworth, and thus Hester gained the Scarlet Letter for being an adulterer. Hawthorne utilizes biblical allusions, such as the stories of
It is uncommon for readers to realize that among many famous works, there is Biblical symbolism implanted within. It does not matter what faith, or lack thereof, the reader or author identifies as, the symbolism is still present in several ways. The Scarlet Letter is set in the Puritan days where the protagonist, Hester Prynne, has been punished for the committing of adultery. Speak is a more contemporary book based on a high school girl, Melinda Sordino, who has been shunned due to a decision she made. Biblical symbolism is embedded in the content of these books through the punishment of The Scarlet Letter, the lack of faith in Speak, and the immorality in both novels.
The syntax in The Scarlet Letter mimics the previously mentioned dark yet romantic and descriptive tone of the novel. Maintaining its seriousness and formality, Hawthorne uses additions such as imagery, personification, metaphor, and symbolism to keep the book’s underlying flowery and romantic storyline. This complex writing style required Hawthorne to utilize very long and illustrative sentence structure. His dedication to detail is seen in his use of comparison to portray both beauty and ugliness. In fact, the only time we see short and choppy sentences is character dialogue and conversation.
Nathaniel Hawthorne Puritan Influence Nathaniel Hawthorne drew from his personal and childhood experiences to write his literary works. The event that affected him and showed in his writing was “...the infamous Salem witch trials had taken place more than 100 years earlier, the events still hung over the town and made a lasting impression on the young Hawthorne…("The Scarlet,"History.com). By the event having a impact on him from a young age it affected his writing and helped him in the development of a strong minded main character in his book The Scarlet Letter. Knowing about the earlier life of Nathaniel Hawthorne will help the reader better understand why Puritanism is the bulk of his literary works. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1804 and was the only son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Clark Hathorne, his father was a sea captain [who] died in 1808 of yellow fever while at sea ("The
Hester’s tale is legendary by the end of the book because of all that she has endured due to the scarlet letter, and the person that she is in spite of it. Additionally, another positive impact the scarlet letter has on Hester is that because of it, she is all the more sympathetic and selfless. Even though the letter causes her and her daughter Pearl to be ostracized from society, Hester does not become bitter and angry in her seclusion. Instead, she becomes a “self-ordained Sister of Mercy” and comforts those who are distraught, being “the softer pillow for the head that needed one” (149). The meaning of the scarlet letter even changes because of her generosity and altruism: “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.
Hester understands that she has committed a sin, and takes full responsibility for her actions. She embroiders her own scarlet letter ‘A’ for ‘Adulteress’ that the townspeople make her wear, and dresses Pearl in all red, presumably to acknowledge her sin. However, near the end of The Scarlet Letter, she plans to run away with Dimmesdale, which would challenge her religion and morals. In The Crucible, Mary has wanted to tell the truth since Act I. Throughout the play, she faces peer pressure, which affects her behavior.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne vividly portrays the different ways people can deal with their failures. The story gives insight to each of our struggles between good and evil. Although failure is part of human nature, also is the ability to redeem
And it was then when I decided that the issue of women from that period should be discussed. Still, the novel of that importance as it is The Scarlet Letter depictures far more than just a destiny of a single woman. Hence, if the writer questioned the power of love, toyed with human emotions and their psyche, and managed to insert a substantial amount of symbolism by creating the novel with historical background, then all the aspects should be included within the analysis. Let us start with the very theme of the novel – the sin; and among all, the sin within the Puritan colony. This precise theme has always been the subject of interest and therefore it has