In a surface examination of the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne, it is quickly evident that no good things come from the wilderness. Therein, the wilderness is often associated with the savages and the devil. In his work The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne finds herself exiled by society for having an adulterous affair with the town reverend which brought forth the child known as Pearl. Pearl is quickly established as the child of the wilderness: wild, capricious, and thought by the town to be a demon-child. She represents several entities in the novel just by her being, but when her morality is delved into, much more of the nature of the story can be revealed. Pearl’s role is often overlooked as a formative force in the novel. Some scholars have gone as far as to denounce her as unnecessary to the story’s makeup. Upon close examination, it can be determined that Pearl is indeed a necessary element. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Pearl presents themes of morality, both personal and cultural, as well as the divide between society and nature, through her interactions with Hester, Reverend Dimmesdale, and the scarlet letter itself.
As great effect as emotions can have on someone, even greater is the effect of how one reacts to his emotions. Arguably the two most influential of these emotions are guilt and anger. They can drive a man to madness or encourage actions of vindication. Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale are subject to this very notion in Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter. Hester simply accepted that what she had done was wrong, whereas Dimmesdale, being a man of high regard, did not want to accept the reality of what he did. Similar to Hester and Dimmesdale, Roger Chillingworth allows his emotions to influence his life; however, his influence came as the result of his anger. Throughout the book, Hawthorne documents how Dimmesdale and Hester 's
Why is sin important? It is believed that sin is important to people because their deity places guilt on their wrongdoings to show that those actions are not to be repeated. In contrary to this belief, there are people with religious views that hold no importance with sin. Depending on the individual’s religious views, sin can be a conflict between oneself and a “higher” being or it can not affect the individual at all. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Arthur Dimmesdale is an ordained Puritan priest that had committed a grave sin in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He had committed adultery with a married woman, Hester, the woman that is married to Roger Chillingworth. After Chillingworth has heard about this news, he seeks
The novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, many of the main characters suffer from toils of sin. Especially Arthur Dimmesdale, the local puritan clergyman who has committed adultery and can 't admit to the people of the town in Boston what he has done. He lived under a strict society where the system and all of its components were based on God. He suffers from this because he values the Puritan way. Arthur Dimmesdale does not come out for many reasons and that isn 't right, which makes him a coward throughout the novel.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was quite progressive for his time and his novel, The Scarlet Letter, is a wonderful example of this. Before he married his wife, Sophia Peabody, Hawthorne joined Brook Farm, a transcendentalist group (Nathaniel Hawthorne). According to Merriam Webster, transcendentalism is, “a philosophy that emphasizes the a priori conditions of knowledge and experience or the unknowable character of ultimate reality or that emphasizes the transcendent as the fundamental reality” (“Transcendentalism”). Put simply, transcendentalists thought that intuition and knowledge of ourselves is more a more important reality than the scientific, sensual reality. As a group, these people held very progressive views on women’s rights, education,
Nathaniel Hawthorne was in his mid-twenties when he published Mrs. Hutchinson in 1830. He referenced this story and its main character in his famous novel The Scarlet Letter, which was published two decades later.
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.
And now the story of a woman; a woman whose story is repeated so often - it ingrained on our collective imagination. She 's an archetype. She is Eve. She 's Juno. She the good woman gone bad. She is Hester Prynne.
Throughout history, Puritans have been known for extremely strict views towards other religions and people of other religions. Because they “deeply and fervently believed that they were doing the work of God”, Puritans often punished and shunned those who did not follow their rules or share their same views (Collier 62). In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne presents these popular ideas and truths about the Puritan way of living in a symbolic story of submissive defiance. He creates a strong feminist that contradicts the majority of the Puritan views on feminism. This rebellious main character, Hester Prynne, greatly sins and, thus, the town punishes her and shuns her in hope that she will repent and take on her proper duties once more. However, Hester shows the strength of a woman through this public humiliation, and takes on the role of a feminist by showing this feminine strength. Despite the attempts from society to force Hester into their Puritan ways, Hester Prynne fulfills the notion of a feminist through her rebellious qualities and actions, and she proves to be a contrast by assimilating into the role of a Puritan woman and thriving in this role despite her public humiliation.
As far as I am concerned, the society of the 1850 was very religious; many people of that period were believers. Thus, there were many issues happened that influenced Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writing style. In that society, the religions was strict, the people were judgmental. The situation was different, thus people’s mind was also thinking in different ways.
The scaffold is a symbol of isolation and guilt throughout Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. All three of the scenes that take place on the scaffold show major character development that deal with the realities of being alone in suffering, punishment, and guilt. All the scenes have at least the four main Characters: Hester, Pearl, Rev. Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth. Chillingworth is Hester’s husband’s pseudo name to protect his identity while he exacts revenge. Since the scaffold scenes are such major parts of Hawthorne’s story, I believe that they also directly impact the overall theme.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne highlights the concepts of sympathy and shame through Arthur Dimmesdale, who commits a sinful act of adultery. Dimmesdale is a renowned minister in Puritan society who conceives an illegitimate child with Hester Prynne. Dimmesdale is not publicly condemned; instead, as he conceals his sin from public scrutiny, he faces an inner conflict. He is conflicted because if he confesses, he can become Hester’s lover, but will also be publicly scrutinized. On the other hand, if he continues to conceal his sin, he will continue feeling shameful, but can remain renown in the Puritan community. Before Dimmesdale dies, he overcomes his inner conflict and is able to atone for his wrong doings. Dimmesdale’s complex character and the particular circumstances of his crime, ultimately makes Hawthorne and readers ambivalent towards Dimmesdale’s plight (150).
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, he thoroughly exposes the social depths of the Puritan society. As a Romanticist, his values and ideals go in line with nature and individualism, which is lucidly seen by the way he writes of the so called pious who contradict this and rather emphasize conformity. To further depict the hypocrisy within the Puritan community, the use of rhetorical devices is evident as Hawthorne utilized the character of Pearl to epitomize the beauty of yielding societal norms and instead placing emphasis on an open mind.
American literature begins with the Romantic era. In this era, authors begin to focus on other aspects of life besides politics. Romanticism values intuition over reason, believes imagination could discover truths the rational mind could not, and contemplates nature’s beauty as a path to spiritual and moral development. Dark romanticism is a subgenre that has a dark view of human life. The most famous Dark Romantic writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne, emphasizes human proneness to sin and self-destruction, uses symbols that are considered dark, and believes that evil can overtake good. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne employs elements of Romanticism and symbolism to communicate the idea that sin and guilt have psychological effects which can turn into physical and mental manifestations.
Throughout the literary work of art, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the characters that he created to express the dysfunctionality of the Puritan society’s process of punishment for sins. The Scarlet Letter was written in 1840 and published in 1850 by Ticknor and Fields. Hawthorne portrays themes of sin and redemption through The Scarlet Letter’s intricate narrative of how a woman, Hesther Prynne, commits adultery with a highly respected religious figure within the Puritan society, whose name is Arthur Dimmesdale, while the woman’s former husband seeks for justice. Hawthorne also incorporates his own story into The Scarlet Letter, using his experience as an ancestor of John Hathorne, a vicious judge for The Salem Witch Trials, which took place in Salem, MA 1692-1693. Hesther, the adulterer, was punished by the Puritan society and was sentenced to wear a scarlet letter “A” upon the chest of gown for the remainder of her days whereas, her partner, Dimmesdale was not initially revealed to the society as Hesther’s lover. Hesther’s former husband Roger Prynne, soon to be named Chillingworth because of his embarrassment of his affiliation with Hester, was seeking to bring the partner of Hesther’s affair to justice in the light of God’s punishment. Hawthorne argues the difficulties of how sin and redemption causes a ripple effect in which it not only affects the sinners, but all those around them.