Individuals have a constant drawing to conform to the norms of society. It is easy to be swept up into society’s rules as most people associate a feeling of acceptance when they fit into society. While blending in is easy, it takes far more courage and strength to be an individual as they must break free from this mainstream comfort zone to generate their own, individual virtues. The figurative distance created between those based in society and those who are individuals uncovers a morally affecting environment of judgement and acceptance. Those caught in the middle of society’s norms find it easy to believe certain things because their views are shared and supported by those around them. Individuals, on the other hand, must be strong …show more content…
Through the effects of sin Hawthorne places on character 's identities, he is able to contrast the differences between the perception of society and that of oneself. Ultimately, it is when people embrace their true selves that they can begin living a rewarding life. Through the acceptance of her sin, Hester is able to live a more respectable life. At the beginning of the novel, Hester believes what she and Dimmesdale did “had a consecration of its own” (170). Their sin, she believes, was brought to light by something bigger and more sacred than the both of them, love. It was not affected or influenced by society, but was real as it was created by a natural human tendency. Hester’s belief that her sin is not worthy of punishment, is clear when “she [repels] [the town beadle], by an action marked with natural dignity and force of character, and… free will” (49) as she exits the jail. Although strong in the belief that her sin was a consecration at the beginning, Hester quickly becomes doubtful of her innocence as she begins to believe what society says about the severity of her sin. Each time someone looks at her scarlet letter, “they branded it afresh into Hester’s soul” (77). The constant reminder and rumors about her sin make Hester question which story, her’s or society’s, is true. And each time, “she could scarcely refrain, yet always did refrain, from covering the symbol with her hand” (77) as she wants to
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The children In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter play a major role in the Puritan society. With their honest opinions of Hester and Pearl, the children are presented as more perceptive and more honest than adults. Due to their innocence, children are capable of expressing themselves without constraints; there are no laws or regulations that they are bounded by. As an adolescent go through the stages of life and grow older, they begin to be more conscious of the how they act as they are more aware of society and the things that are occurring in the world, creating a filter for their actions. When they remain as the children, on the other hand, are adventurous; they are still exploring the universe that seems to fill with mysteries that are bound to be solved. They tend to attach to the truth and they are not afraid to speak it freely. Children differ from adults in their potential for expressing these perceptions. With their obliviousness to the things that are actually going on around the town, children therefore react differently compared to the adults, who are more knowledgeable. Perceived to be immature, young children are presented as more perceptive and more honest than adults due to their innocence, how they are unaware of the reality and the crimes that are presented in society by the adults enables them to be blithe and not afraid of saying what they feel like. Due to their naivety, when they express what they perceive to be true, they do not get punished,
““There was witchcraft in little Pearl’s eyes, and her face, as she glanced upward at the minister, wore that naughty smile which made its expression frequently so elvish.” (Hawthorne 145) This, is a misleading description that Nathaniel Hawthorne depicts of Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne, in his classic novel The Scarlet Letter. Pearl is the living product of sin for her mother. Born out of wedlock, Pearl is a unique child that tends to be very moody and unpredictable. However, Pearl, at such a young age, demonstrates outstanding knowledge and exhibits curiosity to her mother’s scarlet letter, and the hypocrisy of Puritan society. Although Pearl portrays devilish characteristics and performs mischievous behaviour, she
To start the book, we find that a young woman has committed adultery and when standing in front of a mocking crowd, she is ashamed of her actions. Continuing through the book we find that the adulteress, Hester Prynne, displays many examples of positive outcomes arising from negative situations. She becomes more and more aware of the faults of society and becomes wiser as she deals with the consequences of her actions. Even though Hester made a terrible decision that came with many extremely negative effects, she gained personality traits, perceptions, and people that rose from her mistake.
In the Scarlet Letter there are characters that are important to the novel; however there is one specific character that relates to the topic of the story is Arthur Dimmesdale. The character Arthur Dimmesdale is a respected minster in Boston. However even though, Arthur Dimmesdale is a minister and preaches against sin to his congregation, he commits the ultimate sin with a young married woman named Hester Pryne. For punishment Hester Pryne becomes pregnant and shunned from public society, Dimmesdale is forced to live with guilt and later in the novel dies from the same sin within his body. Critics that have read the Scarlet letter would argue that Dimmesdale is a weak or ennobled character because he didn’t tell the community of his sinful crime. Another characteristic that critics would agree on is that Dimmesdale was a hypocrite. Arthur Dimmesdale is a character that is weak and hypocritical to his own belief.
Hester’s punishment goes beyond the symbolism of the scarlet letter A she must wear on her chest, to the point where she is stripped of her humanity and is completely objectified, lowered to the level of a savage animal, unable to deny her base desires. However, if Hester had been a man, no one would have thought all too much of it, and let it go sooner. The only reason people reacted so strongly to finding out that Dimmesdale was the person Hester cheated with is because he’s a man of the cloth and also because he died right after confessing. In fact, the puritan patriarchs and some others defended that Dimmesdale’s confession was an allegorical performance and merely a continuation of his moving
The eighteenth-century author, Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. He was most famous for his writings The Scarlet Letter, “Young Goodman Brown,” “The Minister’s Black Veil” and an abundant array of other books and short stories. The stories that are mentioned contain a copious amount of symbolism throughout the entirety of each book. All the stories that he ever wrote have an underlying meaning and the symbolism was hidden within in the names, characters, places, and actions that happened in the books and helped the readers to have a greater understanding about the Puritan lifestyle and the Bible. The dictionary definition of symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. A few
The Buddha once said, “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” The romantic novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne explores the importance of the truth and the effects on an individual when they attempt to escape from it. This novel mostly follows the main character Hester, who is doomed to display the scarlet letter, signifying adultery, for the rest of the duration of her life. Pearl, Hester’s daughter and the result of her adultery, is thought of by the Puritan community to be unworldly, wild, and an offspring of Satan. However, despite the Puritans’ ill view on her, Hawthorne purposely uses her character to portray truth and nature in this gloomy and dark setting. The actions of Pearl make it apparent that one cannot hide or escape from the truth.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne 's, Scarlet Letter, the little girl Pearl, is the living and breathing symbol of adultrey which is proven by her mother and unknown father to admit their sins to all of the townspeople. Pearl herself, is the Scarlet Letter which sometimes leads to her being given the characteristics of a demon. Pearl 's spirit, love for nature and many other characteristics that she carries, reveals her distinct and unusual personality. She also understands many things that a regular 7 year old wouldn 't even think about, proving that she is a symbol. Pearl, is also the biggest connection between Hester, her mother, and the minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, whom is her father.
In the “Scarlet Letter” written by Nathaniel Hawthorne symbolism plays a major role, especially the letter “A”. The letter “A” or the Scarlet Letter directly stands for adultery, which is committed by the main character, Hester, and the priest, Mr. Dimmesdale. The letter “A” though has a deeper meaning than just adultery because it is a symbol of sin and embarrassment, or at least is meant too. Although the letter “A” is meant to be a symbol of embarrassment it develops throughout the story and transforms into a symbol of normality and understanding.
The clockwork of Nature does not stop for any Man. In the classic novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Arthur Dimmesdale conceals an abominable truth. Avoiding subjugation to the conservative Puritan's Society rule, the reverend feigned obliviousness all the while Hester, the person he committed adultery with, fearlessly bared her shame upon her bosom. The society held Dimmesdale to a higher standard; as a result, their influences hindered his ability to take responsibility for his actions. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne manipulates complementary diction, parallel juxtapositions, guilt-ridden indirect characterizations, and enlightening dialogues to interpret how the society symbolized the prison bars cemented by incarceration, cannot bring to naught the natural order of humanity.
The scarlet letter symbolizes a part of Hester’s past that she can never forget but also represents a sense of strength that she overcame all the hardship that was a result of her sin, though she still feels the pain of the letter when encountering Mr. Dimmesdale. In chapter sixteen, Hester plans to meet with the minister in order to discuss their plans about what to do with Roger Chillingworth, but also just to talk to somebody who understands her situation. Eventually, Pearl brings up the Black Man again when she describes how “he haunts this forest, and carries a book with him [...] and how this ugly Black Man offers this book [...] to everybody that meets him here [...] and they are to write their names with their own blood [...] then
Within the world, color is important. Color allows the expression of the people’s inner, true self. Color allows the expression of society’s forced image onto the people. Color allows one to be honest and truthful, yet hidden and sheltered. Color is our personality and who we are. Color challenges how far we can step out of the norm while still being accepted. Color is our own definition of ourselves, and yet it is open for interpretation.
Nathaniel Hawthorne is the author of the prodigious book entitled The Scarlet Letter. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne commits adultery with Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Her husband, Roger Chillingworth, soon finds out about the incident after it becomes clear that she is pregnant. The whole town finds out and Hester is tried and punished. Meanwhile, Roger Chillingworth goes out then on a mission to get revenge by becoming a doctor and misprescribing Dimmesdale. He does this to torture Dimmesdale as a form of revenge. Hester is publicly punished and is contrived to wear a scarlet letter “A” on her bosom. This is how she was punished. This was a way to shame her and seclude her from society. Hester was forced to stand on a scaffolding and stare out over the people that were watching her with her scarlet letter “A” embroidered on her chest. Over time the scarlet letter “A” in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter, acquired many meanings including adultery, able, and angel.
Life can be proven to be extremely difficult at many different points; whether people are just finding their place in the world, or they are finally settling down after decades of toil and strain. In the words of American Dramatist Tennessee Williams, “Don’t look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you’ll know you’re dead.” This quote relates how everyone in the world is constantly suffering in some way, shape, or form and in the Scarlet Letter the situation is no different. The entire novel is based upon simple mistakes made by an array of individuals, and the repercussions of those choices that cause different forms of suffering. Throughout this fictional work, one individual sticks out as one who’s true faith has been tested through suffering, and this individual is Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. His constant suffering throughout the entire book is shown through; the beginning of his practices of vigils, the dilapidation of his health, and Roger Chillingworth’s deep desire for revenge. Along with these aspects, Dimmesdale’s loss of his formal, pious structure have been shown clearly through his complete shift in mindset, making him the character that suffers most throughout this novel.
If we look at the setting in The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, it is a 1600s puritan settlement in New England. This particular place is the Massachusetts Bay Colony, where, as depicted in The Scarlet Letter, is bound by the strict rules of the Puritans. We can see that internal struggle is planted in people’s minds because of their punishment, and specifically, Hester Prynne. We can see that Hester’s punishment, however, has helped her internally to become a better, independant person who has control over her life. Through specific examples, the character of Hester Prynne can be analyzed through the course of The Scarlet Letter. We see that the physical manifestation of Pearl, the scarlet letter, her conversations and how they each show more of Hester’s self, all are from Hester’s internal struggle with the punishments she faces, and how she is steadily overcoming them.