“The scarlet letter was represented in exaggerated and gigantic proportions, so as to be greatly the most prominent feature of her appearance. In truth, she seemed absolutely hidden behind it.” (120) Hawthorne’s description of the distorted scarlet letter illustrates the townspeople’s prejudiced view of
Puritan’s harsh beliefs represented the beginning of the Nineteenth Century in the newly colonized America. Their community ruled with an iron fist: unforgiving, pitiless, stern. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne expresses his disagreement with puritan priorities by revealing the hypocrisy widely practiced throughout their community. Hawthorne’s utilization of dim diction aids in the establishment of his scornful tone, while inclusion of symbols and intricate juxtaposition all serve to accentuate the Puritan’s duplicity. All these factors combine to develop a critical tone which rebukes puritan society.
Hawthorne uses chapter twenty-two, “The Procession”, to put all the pieces of the puzzle of the conflict together. This is where the reader remotely begins to understand how the ending of the novel will come to an end. To reveal the conclusion to the reader, Hawthorne uses rhetorical devices such as, irony, simile, and diction.
Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, one of the protagonists of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, stands as a highly conflicted character. The source of his divide stems from the consequences of private sins, and is prevalent within the first paragraphs of Chapter 12, “The Minister’s Vigil,” where the narration chronicles Dimmesdale’s surroundings as he dream walks through the town in a state of limbo. He is portrayed as a model citizen who lacks moral imperfections to the general public yet suffers privately from the juxtaposition of his sins to his position within the community. In this specific passage, Hawthorne uses somber diction and imagery to illustrate Dimmesdale’s strife, while portraying his internal conflict through the formation
In the “Scarlet Letter,” Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays hypocrisy of the Puritan society, where the protagonist Hester Prynne face many consequences of her actions and the how she tries to redeem herself to the society. During the seventeenth puritans believe that it is their mission to punish the ones who do not follow God’s word and it is their job to stop those from sinning. Therefore, the hypercritical puritan society punishes Hester harshly for committing adultery, but in Hester’s mind, she believes that what she did was not a sin but acts of love for her man. Eventually, she redeems herself by turning her crime into an advantage to help those in need, yet the Puritan society still view her as a “naughty bagger.” (Hawthorne 78)
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
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. Chillingworth and Dimmesdale are made clear contrasting characters early on in the novel through their blatantly conflicting physical descriptions. Dimmesdale is introduced early on in the third chapter and is described as “ A person of very striking aspect with a white, lofty, and impending brow, large, brown, melancholy eyes, and mouth… expressing both nervous sensibility and a vast power of self restraint”
Guilt Obsession Within the novel The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathanial Hawthorne Reverend Dimmesdale drastically develops throughout the novel, from being a symbol of Puritan religion to displeasing the population of the Puritan expectations through his actions. His appearance as well as his privilege and prominence within the community alters radically. He begins the novel as the town reverend, and later, the shame of Hester accepting the entirety of the blame and the fact that he escaped with no punishment or shame from the town ultimately consumed him. Throughout the novel, it was revealed that he had a red mark on his chest in correlation to the “A” that was displayed on Hester’s chest.
Luke Chilton Mrs. Hogg AP English 3 January 2017 Module Eight Lesson Three Mastery Assignment: The Scarlet Letter Chapter 9-12 In the novel, Mr. Chillingworth suggests that it would be a good idea for Chillingworth and Dimmesdale to lodge in the same house. When the Reverend Dimmesdale tells his congregation the he is the worst of all sinners, the congregation becomes fussy and very upset over the fact that he has been a liar and a hypocrite.
The exploration of societal pressures. Life can be separated into two equal parts totally independent from one another. The inner self, being the innermost thoughts and feelings of the individual, and the outer self, how the individual decides to conduct itself around the others in society. Often times one of these parts takes control of the other, suppressing its partner. The suppression is often not of equal frequency because of the obligation humans feel to be liked and to fit in causes the outermost self to be given the most thought and worry.
The Scarlet Letter Essay Roger Chillingworth and Arthur Dimmesdale were two of the main sinners in The Scarlet Letter. Both characters kept their sins secrete throughout the story. These sins included adultery, revenge, and even murder. Out of the two sinners, Chillingworth was the worst, because he never felt guilt for the terrible things he was doing. Dimmesdale spent his entire life in guilt and remorse for the sins he had committed (“Who”).
Arthur Dimmesdale, the minister, a clergyman had committed the horrid sin of adultery, the same sin as Hester. Dimmesdale’s holy affiliation gave him a kind and pure disposition and this was solidified by his dimwittedness, making him seem almost childlike. By having a character with these qualities, Hawthorne contradicts the stereotype he has set up by having Dimmesdale be “unworth... [y] to [complete his] humblest mission” (71), a quality virtually unheard of among ministers. The author then has Dimmesdale confess his “sin so awfully revealed!”(211) in order for both Hester and Dimmesdale to redeem themselves of sin and restore the goodness.
When we keep secrets we also keep guilt and guilt will destroy us from the inside. In the book of scarlet letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and how one woman who committed adultery with a character named dimmesdale who is the town revered. Dimmesdale kept secrets to maintaining his reputation but actions the guilt eats him from the inside. Dimmesdale the town revered for the puritan religion. He commits adultery with Hester and has a child, but instead of facing his sin he keeps inside for no one to know.
Amanda Vicente The Scarlet Letter Reading Response AP English Language Period J 16 August 2016 Journal Entry 1: Chapters 1-2 In The Scarlet Letter, the author sets a mood from the beginning of the book. The setting is old and beat up in front of an aged wooden prison with judgmental Puritans ready to tear a women apart. The Puritans are hypocrites and the author portrays that in the story.
Literary Devices in The Scarlet Letter Literary devices are often used to capture a reader’s attention in a text. Nathaniel Hawthorne used many different types of literary devices in his book The Scarlet Letter. He uses symbolism to give hidden meaning to elements in the story, conflict to make the story interesting, and allusion to make references to historical events (ex. biblical references). While reading The Scarlet Letter, the literary devices did not jump out at me, but now as I reflect upon them they help me understand the book well. Literary devices can make a passage have a whole different meaning.