Hawthorne uses many forms of rhetoric to portray his characters, but relies heavily on pathos in the instance of Hester Prynne. She’s a member of an inherently misogynistic society, and because she’s a woman, her every act is scrutinized. As punishment for her act of adultery, Hester is ordered to adorn her chest with a permanent scarlet letter. Although the audience is well aware of the atrocity of the sin she’s committed, Hawthorne’s writing sparks a feeling of empathy within the reader. Throughout the novel, the reader is exposed to several clear uses of pathos. The scene detailing Hester and Pearl’s time in the Governor's house is just one of Hawthorne’s many appeals to emotion. After entering the home, Pearl notices a polished suit of armor, and calls Hester over to see it.
First, there were the characters that helped to connect the theme sin, crime, and punishment. The story shows Hester as a unaffected attitude, but is willing to fight for what she believes which characterizes her personality. When Hester was standing on the scaffold with her “A” on her chest, she was unaffected by what people were saying to her. From the book “God gave her into my keeping,” repeated Hester Prynne, raising her voice almost to a shriek. “I will not give her up!”—And here, by sudden impulse, she turned to the
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, he explores the prodigy of love, crime, and revenge. It revolves around a sinful act of passion that impacts Hester Prynne, an adulteress forced to wear a scarlet letter “A”on her bosom; Reverend Dimmesdale, a respected minister in the puritans community; their daughter, Pearl; and Roger Chillingworth, Hester 's husband. Most of the characters portrayed can be analyzed as embodying both “good” and “evil” qualities. Dimmesdale is especially viewed as an ambiguous character. Dimmesdale’s moral ambiguity comes from his internal conflict between his devotion to the church and the guilt he feels for not receiving blame for his sinful act of co-adultery with Hester. Classifying him as an “evil”
After the public accusation, Hester suddenly becomes an adulterous, undesirable woman while Dimmesdale remains still as a well-respected minister. Hester’s miserable state after her experiences with public shame develops such tragedy. Out of guilt and despair, Hester states, “I have thought of death”(65). Death serves as a symbol for the unfulfillable love of Hester and Dimmesdale. Hester’s thought of death implies that she can no longer bear the harsh societal criticisms, demonstrating her defeated, broken stage of her life. Besides an eternal escape from the oppression of Puritan society, her thoughts of suicide indicate an isolation from Dimmesdale, a dignified minister she can never love again. Hester’s surrender to the societal judgment, nevertheless, is also the reason for her suffering. When Dimmesdale admits the adulterous sin he commits with Hester, he does not think about the societal judgment. The fanatical minister instead triumphantly praises God, declaring, “By bringing me hither, to die this death of triumphant ignominy before the people!” (234). Corresponding with Hester’s thoughts of death, Dimmesdale pursues the eternal escape from the Puritan society, and he first fears the consequences he must face. In contrast to Hester, however, Dimmesdale confronts his death willingly, as if it is not a forced decision from societal pressure but his own choice.
Hester Prynne is often judged wherever she goes, whether it be her hometown or on top of the scaffold. Even in her own town of Salem, Massachusetts she is judged
In The Scarlet Letter by Daniel Hawthorne many villainous acts occur that contribute to the plot and direction of the text. One antagonist in the novel is Chillingworth, the “departed” husband of Hester Prynne. Chillingworth and his constant mission to gain his wife's love and to reveal the father with whom Hester's baby was conceived by leads him to take some villainous actions. Chillingworth took many actions to obtain his goals, examples of this are constantly exemplified throughout the novel, one example is Chillingworth’s unrelenting hatred towards Dimmesdale. Other examples of Chillingworth's villainous acts consist of his hidden identity, his guilt trip use towards Hester, and overall his relentless pursuit for revenge. In the actions taken by Chillingworth he swayed the outcome of the novel.
While Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter certainly tells a compelling story, the novel also acts as a psychological study of sorts; delving deep into the minds of complex and troubled individuals. Each main character; Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth, is confronted with their own predicament to which they all react distinctively. Their responses to Hester and Dimmesdale’s sin are constructed by their own distorted perceptions of the world due to the mental illnesses they are all troubled by. Each character’s method of retaliating, coping, or succumbing indirectly reveals the illogical patterns within their mind. In Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, each character faces unique mental afflictions, as Hester battles clinical depression, Dimmesdale
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale commits a mortal sin by having an affair with a married woman, Hester Prynne. As a man of the cloth in Puritan society, Dimmesdale is expected to be the embodiment of the town’s values. He becomes captive to a self-imposed guilt that manifests from affair and his fear that he won’t meet the town’s high expectations of him. In an attempt to mitigate this guilt, Dimmesdale acts “piously” and accepts Chillingworth’s torture, causing him to suffer privately, unlike Hester who repented in the eyes of the townspeople. When Dimmesdale finally reveals his sin to the townspeople, he is able to free himself from his guilt.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne tells not only the story of Hester Prynne’s sin, but also shows wickedness behind Roger Chillingworth’s and Arthur Dimmesdale’s public appearances. In The Scarlet Letter, the two men who both have feelings for Hester clash with each other and even themselves. Throughout the novel,
When considering the term “narcissism,” one often conjures up the image of a conceited, self-absorbed person who excessively praises their own perfection. However, narcissism as a psychological disorder is much deeper. According to licensed mental health counselor Michael Samsel, narcissism is best described as “organizing one 's life around the goal of being superior.” And yet, “superiority is not just about learning to do one or more things well, it is about hiding any evidence of imperfection in other areas” (Samsel). 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. However, Dimmesdale belittles Hester’s suffering while punishing himself out of shame, revealing his narcissistic tendencies.
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. Dimmesdale never admits that he is a father of the child, and is forced to suffer alone in guilt, while Roger Chillingworth seeks revenge. Hawthorne is known for his incorporation of symbolism into his writing. One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols is Pearl. She is a unique character. Often known as the product of her
The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, focuses on the life of Hester Prynne—the unlucky soul who is caught committing adultery and forced to live a life of shame and ignominy. The scaffold is not only the start of her predicament, but it is also the end of the once seemingly perfect Reverend Dimmesdale’s own guilt. The scaffold is the setting of a scene three times throughout the novel: the beginning, middle, and end. For such a lifeless object, it is difficult to recognize its significance in the novel; however, the scaffold is used by Hawthorne to portray the changing relationship between the characters, specifically Hester, Dimmesdale, and Pearl.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne explores recurring themes of suffering surrounding the main characters, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester and Dimmesdale both commit adultery with each other, and, as a result of this, both experience gruesome and occasionally unbearable forms of suffering. Though they undergo different forms of pain, both of their experiences are highly reliant on how the Puritan society treats them. Hester 's pain stems from the shame and estrangement she receives from the community, while Dimmesdale’s is due to the reverence with which the community regards him. Although, in spite of the fact that both Hester and Dimmesdale receive harsh penalty for their sin, by the end of the book, Hawthorne shows how their suffering is, in fact, the key to their salvation. The hardships and punishments of both Hester and Dimmesdale, while difficult to endure at the time, were eventually beneficial and allowed them to free themselves from the Puritan community and escape their pain.
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
Hester Prynne was an example of sin, guilt, and redemption. Hawthorne uses bible passages as examples. The consequences for our sins are determined by God and where we will go. Hester’s punishment is wearing the letter, ‘A’ on her breast. "God, as a direct consequence of the sin which man thus punished, had given her a lovely child, whose place was on that same dishonoured bosom, to connect her parent for ever with the race and descent of mortals, and to be finally a blessed soul in heaven!"- (pg 55). Hester freed herself from sin by removing The Scarlet Letter and realizing she loves Dimmesdale, with this she asks for his forgiveness and confesses. “Let God punish! Thou shalt forgive!”(pg.118) Hester did a good deed when she kept Dimmesdale’s identity a secret. “I deem it not likely that he will betray the secret.He will doubtless seek