A narcissistic personality often causes turmoil, with the ever-present black hole of self-importance potentially manifesting into an abusive relationship. In The Scarlet Letter, a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a narcissistic personality is seen in the character of Dimmesdale, the reverend in the Puritan town of 17th century Boston, and secret lover of Hester Prynne. Hester, having given birth to a child out of wedlock, is forced to wear the letter “A” on her chest as punishment for her adultery. She is ceaselessly insulted and ostracized by the other Puritans for the rest of her time in the town. Meanwhile, Hester refuses to reveal who her lover is and thus, Dimmesdale is able to maintain his facade of a pure and holy reverend.
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.
The Puritan belief and lifestyle plays a major role in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter. The story takes place in Puritan New England, and opens with a scene presenting to the audience that a young woman named Hester Prynne has committed adultery. Wearing her punishment proudly, a scarlet letter “A” on her breast, Hester continues to live in New England where she raises her daughter and creates an embroidering business for herself. All the while, in the heart of the town, Hester’s lover and the child’s father, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale silently suffers and is ultimately overcome with guilt from his secret sin until the point of death.
Chillingworth’s gravitation towards evil stimulates his lost of humanity, ultimately forcing his fate to become dependent on Dimmesdale’s public confession. When he arrives in the Puritan society in Boston, Chillingworth encounters his wife, Hester, enduring the consequences of public humiliation for an adulterous crime. Due to Hester’s defiant nature and her desire to conceal her partner’s name, Chillingworth was compelled to privately seek the identity of Hester’s partner. During his mission, Chillingworth earns the trust of Reverend Dimmesdale, whom he later identifies as Hester’s partner after discovering marks on the clergyman’s chest that closely resembles the shameful scarlet letter that Hester bears as punishment. Upon his discovery,
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, chapters fourteen through twenty-four, concludes the novel with astonishment. Due to previous events, Hester is forced to wear a scarlet letter as a form of punishment but surprisingly, with time, she begins to be respected and admired by society. Later, we realize that chillingworth is plotting against Dimmesdale and should be stopped. Hester and dimmesdale have a meet at the woods where things get rather intimate. After the meet on the woods events occur which lead to dimmesdale’s death but also his release from guilt.
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”.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a novel that focuses on sin in the Puritan society. Hawthorne revolves the theme around the four main characters Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, Roger Chillingworth., and Pearl. Hester Prynne is forced to wear the scarlet letter ‘A’ after committing adultery against her husband Roger Chillingworth, with the minister Arthur Dimmesdale. As a result an odd child is born.
During their first conversation, Basil and Lord Henry begin talking about Dorian’s profound innocence at great length. The painter eagerly explains to Henry how much of an influence the young man has on his career exclaiming, “‘His personality has suggested to me an entirely new manner in art, an entirely new mode of style’’’ (Wilde 8). Basil believes his work only has meaning thanks to his fateful encounter with Dorian and being able to witness his heart. Henry later criticises his idolization for Dorian by accurately foreshadowing, “‘Some day you will look at your friend, and he will seem to you to be a little out of drawing, or you won’t like his tone of colour, or something”’
The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is one of the most famous and influential novels written in American literature. The story takes place in the seventeenth century in the Puritan settlement of Boston where a young woman named Hester Prynne is punished after having a daughter with a man who was not her husband. Though, instead of hanging Hester they spare her life because of her beauty. She is then shunned and forced to wear a scarlet “A” (for adultery) on her breast for the rest of her life, while, the “unknown” man who Hester had an affair with moves on with a guilt-filled life. The novel is a classic romance with it’s countless symbols tossed throughout the book.
American children’s author, Obert Skye once stated, “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” During times of distress and hardship, especially in life-or-death scenarios, people are willing to sacrifice anything in order to save themselves. In 19th century Massachusetts, during the gruesome Salem Witch Trials, those convicted were given an ultimatum. The act of confession, even if untruthful, would result in living; on the other hand, not pleading guilty would result in the death penalty, even if innocent. John Proctor, the protagonist of The Crucible, shows dissimilarity to most, making him not only the most dynamic character of the play, but also a hero.
It is a shroud I weave for Lord Laërtês, when cold death comes to lay him on his bier. (2.100-108) Using the shroud as an excuse to stall, Penelope deceived the suitors by sabotaging her own work to delay her completion. Eventually, Antínoös, one of the extrusive suitors, became aware of her doing. In Book Two, Antínoös says, “So every day she wove on the great loom—but every night by torchlight she unwove it; and so for three years she deceived the Akhaians.” (2.112-114) Secondly, Penelope’s next example of cleverness is when calls the “Test of the Bow”.
Roger Chillingworth is speaking to Hester in this quote about how much her cheating affected him. Since the author did not give very much information about Roger before he returned to Boston, it was difficult to measure exactly how he had changed since learning of the scarlet letter. Through his previous words and actions regarding Hester and especially Reverend Dimmesdale, Roger depicts himself as a man filled with hatred and focussed on revenge. Before mentioning his old self, Roger Chillingworth told Hester about Reverend Dimmesdale’s suffering since he had become somewhat of his personal physician. Roger says that the reverend sensed “an eye was looking curiously into him,” which, undoubtedly, represents the presence of Roger Chillingworth,
Guilt is in everyone. Guilt is often to be seen within everybody, for it is a force that does not fail to capture even the mightiest of people. Guilt behaves as a reminder to let one know privately that he/she has committed a bad deed, after awhile people begin to give in and confess. However, there are those who refuse to accept the actions they have previously taken and hide it. Similarly, the act of act of concealed guilt apparent in the supposed antagonist, Roger Chillingworth, of The Scarlet Letter.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s rosebush in The Scarlet Letter represents the prisoners who are living within the shadows of the prison. Throughout the novel Hester, a prisoner, is seeking redemption, so she’s willing to sacrifice her reputation for the sake of her daughter. The rosebush is a symbol for those who are suffering or going through a difficult time. The rosebush is growing in the shadows of the prison, as are the prisoners who have a chance at redeeming themselves. Throughout The Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne overcomes several challenging obstacles that come her way and try preventing her redemption.
"When he found the eyes of Hester Prynne fastened on his own, and saw that she appeared to recognize him, he slowly and calmly raised his finger, made a gesture with it in the air, and laid it on his lips." -The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Chapter 3, page This quote ties in together with the theme of the book because Hester Prynne’s husband had left her, leaving her clueless as to her not knowing if he would be back or not. As Chillingworth, Hester's husband, does this motion towards her, I feel like he is threatening her. Almost as if he is promising, “I know what you did and I’m here to make your life hell”, and as he moves his finger to his lips, he’s sealing the promise.