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Air Of Inconclusiveness In Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter

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An Air Of Inconclusiveness: Analysis of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter
Modern critics frequently discern Nathaniel Hawthorne’s work to possess an air of inconclusiveness, which more so than often allows for divergent interpretations among readers. This shrewd attribute the novelist manipulates throughout his work permits his audience to draw their own conclusions in perplexing scenarios where a negligible explanation is given; making us constantly decipher situations in feasible or astonishing clarification. However, Richard Chase reveals how engaging the aspect of such a technique can be in his scholarly commentary The Ambiguity of The Scarlet Letter. Subsequently, the scholar continues his perusal by scrutinizing the allegorical elements
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Chase justifies his stance by stating “The author’s powerfully possessive imagination refuses to relinquish his characters to our immediate persua or to the logic of their own human density” (146). His claim of Hawthorne’s formidable imagination refers to the author's use of strong imagery, and paradoxical mirrors; such as Hester’s letter in the first scaffold scene, which is supposed to represent sin but instead is exquisitely embroidered. This doubleness allows for an inclination of imagination, departing in the path of two. I concur with this notion owing to the fact that I too draw my own perspective of Hester due to the static version of reality given to readers by Hawthorne. Chase additionally comments on how Hawthorne's description of dream-like scenes gives the reader a second-hand observation. Such open-ended varying interpretational imagery is furthermore apparent when first describing Hester's letter; as Hawthorne writes “It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity and enclosing her in a sphere by herself” (37). Readers now apprehend the effects Hester’s emblem, but not it’s bona fide…show more content…
The scholar emphasizes the feministic qualities the novelist surrounded Hester in, allowing her to first appear impressively independent; furthermore empowering women. Nonetheless I see eye-to-eye with Chase on how the novel is far from a theme of feminism. He informs readers, “So magically various is the book that one may sometimes think it is a rich sensibility and profound mysteries are not usually associated with feminist literature” (147). While reading, there is diverse argumentations on how tightly Hawthorne holds onto the significance of feminism. I agree with the fact that despite maintaining feministic thoughts to accentuate surrealness in the time period, the author still reduces Hester to an object of society, withdrawing any competence she may possess. Due to the abrupt change in thought while reading of Hester, multiple conclusions around Hawthorne’s use of feminism is up for interpretation. The novelist clearly show readers how sin has engulfed the female lead’s conscience. Hawthorne writes, “Hester turned again towards Pearl with a crimson blush upon her cheek, a conscious glance aside the clergyman, and then a heavy sigh”. Pearl’s mother cannot erase her past from the minds of society, nor can she leave. In my opinion, if she
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