The Scarlet Letter Essays

40 essay samples found

Analysis of the Book “The Scarlet Letter”

The scarlet letter a classic novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is about a young married woman named Hester Prynne who moves to Boston from Europe by herself who commits adultery with reverend Arthur Dimmesdale while awaiting her husband who had not made it to Boston. Hester then gives birth to a little girl named Pearl. Eventually […]

Pages: 3 Words: 891 Topics: The Scarlet Letter
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Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter

In terms of embroidery, sewing and clothing in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the aspect of embroidery seems to take a dominant role in how the plot pans out, how the characters transform and are shaped, as well as the the persistent main themes and points that are crafted through the use of this […]

Pages: 6 Words: 1658 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

Intriguing and Melancholy Story “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Summary: [1]The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a Intriguing and melancholy story about a woman in Boston named Hester Prynne. She is blamelessly living in a puritan settlement until she had an affair with a man, while her husband was believed to be lost at sea. [3]Immediately, she was placed in prison and labeled […]

Pages: 2 Words: 659 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter – Courage against the Societal Norms of Puritan Society

Specifically, Hester highlights her strength and courage against the societal norms of her Puritan society when she doesnt succumb to the punishments of her sin the same way that others would. When Hesters sin became public, she, with her daughter in her hands, was brought out in front of the entire community to the scaffold […]

Pages: 2 Words: 684 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

Sins of Hester Prynne, Reverend Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth in the Scarlet Letter

Throughout the story, it is common that sinners are able to recognize this also among other sinners as displayed by Hester, Dimmesdale, Hibbins, and Chillingworth. One example of how this is shown is when Hester says, Something that would make me weep-if there were any tears bitter enough for it. But let it pass! It […]

Pages: 7 Words: 2139 Topics: Macbeth, Macduff, The Scarlet Letter

Heroism Within Scarlet Letter

Heroes are the main characters of every aspect of peoples lives. They can be seen in media, in fictional stories, and in everyday lives. A prime example of another hero readers see is within The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which is a novel in which heroism is found in the shamed. Shunned and heroic […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1067 Topics: Hero, The Scarlet Letter

The Movie Adaptation “The Scarlet Letter”

There have been many on-screen movie adaptations that are based on novels from the past. A great example of this would be The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The novel was written in 1850 and progressed the career of Nathaniel Hawthorne who lived in Salem, Massachusetts at the time. The movie adaptation was released in […]

Pages: 3 Words: 968 Topics: Fiction, Movie, The Scarlet Letter

How Transcendentalism Affect “The Scarlet Letter”?

Although at times he was critical of the highly influential American transcendentalist movement, author Nathaniel Hawthorne was nevertheless powerfully impacted by it, as evidenced by his most famous novel, The Scarlet Letter. Transcendentalism, centered upon the development of a personal, highly individualized relationship with God, views nature as a means of accessing a divine spirit, […]

Pages: 2 Words: 646 Topics: Christianity, Puritans, The Scarlet Letter, Theology, Transcendentalism

Scarlet Letter: Review and Recommendation

In this brief overview of the 1850s novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I will go through a summary of the piece, go into the experience I had with the book and a critique over how well the book was in a sense of readability, let it be known to the readers of this paper that […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1119 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

Scarlet Letter Literary Critisicm

Throughout the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne criticizes Puritan culture and questions the Puritans laws and way of life while highlighting the double life that many characters live which later lead to their demise. A prime example of a character that lives a double life is Arthur Dimmesdale. Throughout the novel, he is portrayed as this […]

Pages: 1 Words: 367 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

Scarlet Letter – Central Idea

In The Scarlet Letter, there are two main central ideas presented throughout the book. The three main characters; Hester, Chillingworth, and Dimmesdale, all contribute to changing and shaping the core of the story. In addition, the setting and events in the book help to develop the two main points; secret sin and hypocrisy. These two […]

Pages: 2 Words: 622 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

Symbolism as an Attribute of the Scarlet Letter

In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses numerous amounts of complex details and language to tell his novel. His use of figurative language helps tells his novel and set the mood for his audience. Figurative language and symbolism play a crucial role in In this novel, Hawthorne utilizes imagery and symbolism throughout his entire novel. […]

Pages: 2 Words: 560 Topics: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

An Analysis of Adultery in the Scarlet Letter by Hester Prynne

It is debated amongst readers of Nathaniel Hawthornes Scarlet Letter whether Hester Prynne, an adulterer in Puritan society, should be considered to be a true American heroine. This debate originates from the argument that although Hester exhibits many noble qualities such as her generosity within her community, she committed a sin that would effectively change […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1233 Topics: Hero, The Scarlet Letter

The Significance of the Letter in the Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter was written in 1850, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The book takes place in a 17th century village in Boston, which is a Puritan town. The main character of the book, Hester Prynne, has a child out of wedlock because she believed her husband to be dead because he sent her to America but […]

Pages: 3 Words: 1007 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter: the Puritan Society

The Puritans were a group of people, who had very strong religious beliefs, judged everyone harshly and played a prominent role in the 17th century set book, The Scarlet Letter. There are a lot of different factors in the book that play a big role, sin plays a big role in developing the whole story […]

Pages: 3 Words: 832 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

The Psychological Aspects of the Scarlet Letter

The human mind and the morals of any individual person, no matter how good and pure, can usually be swayed by the power of temptation and emotions. Sin, especially, is a significant factor that greatly affects the conscious of human beings. In the novel The Scarlet Letter, sin is portrayed as the fuel that begins […]

Pages: 2 Words: 643 Topics: Emotions, Guilt, Human, Reasoning, The Scarlet Letter, Torture

Pearl and Hester in Hawthorne’s Romance the Scarlet Letter

Why do you think Dimmesdale feels this type of connection and energy when he holds Pearls hand? (Hawthorne 12) I think Dimmesdale finally feels a connection to his daughter, he really has not been in her life for that long so for him to feel this type of connection and energy just by holding her […]

Pages: 1 Words: 418 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

Brief and Arrangement of the Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter is a historical fiction book that is structured as a chapter book. The book is a total of 24 chapters. The chapters are organized in chronological order that follow the story of the book. The beginning of the book introduces us to Hester Prynne a young woman has committed adultery and is […]

Pages: 3 Words: 952 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

Symbol of the Prison and the Rose Bush in the Scarlet Letter

Located in Boston Massachusetts, during the 17th century, the Scarlet Letter begins with a gathering of Puritan colonists around a local prison. The colonists in the story seem to be waiting for some sort of public punishment of a prisoner. The mood expressed during this very first chapter of the Scarlet Letter is filled with […]

Pages: 9 Words: 2724 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

Relevant Themes of the Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1904 in Salem, Massachusetts. Hawthorne is one of the great American authors of the 19th Century. He was a romantic and had a dark view of nature. Because of his Puritan background and religion, his writing resonated with his beliefs. Hawthorne is one of the most studied writers […]

Pages: 5 Words: 1616 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

The Effects of Sin on Hester in the Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne shows the effects of sin on a person’s heart and mind, and how a person’s undoing may be caused by hidden guilt and fragility of human nature. The Puritans traveled from Europe to the new world to escape religious victimization and they arrived in America with plans of creating […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1059 Topics: Puritans, The Scarlet Letter

Symbols & Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorn is one of the most famous writers in the world. He uses vivid words, stunning details and amazing symbolism to express the point of the story along with deeper messages. Symbolism is most often a concrete object used to represent an idea more abstract and broader in scope and meaning. Hawthornes scarlet letter […]

Pages: 2 Words: 685 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

Characters Appearances in the Scarlet Letter: how they Change and why

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne was written in the 1800s but takes place in the 1600s; it is a fictional story that exemplifies the power of sin and shame in Puritan society, where daily life revolved around work and religion. Hester Prynne, a woman who has committed adultery with a minister, has a child, […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1122 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

View of Reputation in “The Scarlet Letter”

Reputation is everything. Whether we like to admit it or not, we care how people perceive us, and we care about their opinions of us. This ideology is not something new, it is something that has been around as early as the time in which, The Scarlet Letter was written in. Throughout the novel by […]

Pages: 2 Words: 583 Topics: Fiction, The Scarlet Letter

Hawthornes Critique of the Scarlet Letter

The idea of a gender being more superior has been present throughout history and is especially present in the Puritan society which has a structure of the man being the head of the family. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne he talks a lot about the Puritan values of sins, qualities of being a […]

Pages: 5 Words: 1469 Topics: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

How Nathaniel Hawthorne Creates the Strongest and most Admirable Character

Characters, serving as the bedrock or lifeblood of books, are essential to the creation of books. Authors have to be extremely meticulous in order to ensure the success of a book through its well-rounded characters. Nathaniel Hawthorne created such a vivid character that she lives in the readers’ hearts eternally. Hester Prynne, the main character […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1208 Topics: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Dark Romanticism in Historical Fiction Novel “The Scarlet Letter”

Romanticism is an artistic movement that started toward the end of the 18th century and peaked in the first half of the 19th century. Romantic writers and artists glorified the past and nature. They lifted up heroes whose examples would raise the quality of other people around them. Such celebration of well-being, happiness, and a […]

Pages: 5 Words: 1400 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

The Market Place of the Scarlet Letter: Hawthorne and Hester

Hester is described in the chapter “ The Market Place” when a group of townspeople gathered outside the jail to witness her release. The woman in the crowd have a poor opinion of Hester, calling her a malefactress, a female criminal (Hawthorne Pg 35). Hester is described as a beautiful woman. “Had there been a […]

Pages: 3 Words: 978 Topics: The Scarlet Letter

The Puritan Community in the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The author of The Scarlet letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, introduces the readers to a Puritan Community. The narrator generates a society where the people of the Puritan community hide behind what their religion says they should do in order to keep their emotions undercover. The narrator expresses his attitude toward the Puritans throughout the story by […]

Pages: 2 Words: 715 Topics: Narration, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Puritans, The Scarlet Letter
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Essay About The Scarlet Letter

In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses the characters of Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth to relate the different themes. “Adultery” is the primary substance in this story. People in modern society consider it as an inappropriate action and look down on it, but they do not see it as a big deal which was a huge sin in the 17th century. Each of the three main characters holds a different theme based on the event of committing adultery. Hester suffered from the pain of shame, and Dimmesdale suffered from the pain of guilt while Chillingworth devoted his life to revenge on Dimmesdale who stole his wife, Hester.

From the beginning of the story, Hawthorne used Hester Prynne to relate the theme of sin and alienation as a result of it. She was considered as a great sinner through the eyes of people in the Puritan community because she went against the Puritan law by committing adultery. Wearing the scarlet letter A on her chest which is the symbol of sin and shame, she spent the rest of her life. One might think just a small letter on her body would not affect her that much, but it became the main symbol that identify who she is. “She saw that owing to the peculiar effect of this convex mirror, the scarlet letter was represented in exaggerated and gigantic proportions, so as to be greatly the most prominent feature of her appearance.”(7) This shows that people can identify her just by looking at the scarlet letter on her chest rather than seeing her as an individual. Also, Hester went through public embarrassment alone because she wanted to protect his lover, Dimmesdale, from suffering which she had already gone through. Since she was considered as a sinful woman, nobody wanted to talk to her, yet she didn’t battle with them when they were gossiping about her. She was just alienated from the public and lived her life for raising her daughter.

In addition, Hawthorne uses Dimmesdale to represent the theme of guilt and hypocrisy by telling readers that the pain of guilt is far greater than the pain of shame and the pain that he suffered from being a hypocrite is what he made his own. Dimmesdale, a true lover of Hester, had a great reputation as a respected minister in the Puritan community, yet shared a great sin with Hester by being in an inappropriate relationship. However, he was afraid of the consequences of committing the sin with Hester and was too weak to control himself and confess the truth and that personality actually led him to his own downfall. “Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly upon your bosom! Mine burns in secret!”(17) It shows that Dimmesdale had great envy of Hester’s revelation which reminds readers that Hester is not the only one who suffers from the sin but also Dimmesdale. By going through the courses of three scaffolds, however, he realized that he would hurt more once he tried to hide from the truth.

Finally, Hawthorne uses Chillingworth as the theme of revenge. Chillingworth, Hester’s real husband, is often described as a cold-hearted and devil in The Scarlet Letter. He was an old man who married a woman named Hester who had an affair with the other man. One can say that there is nothing more tragic than finding his wife on the scaffold with another man’s baby in her arms when he came back to his settlement. It’s very heart-rending and he definitely felt a sense of betrayal which made him fall into a desire for revenge. One can understand his feeling, yet the things he had done were too much. For example, he pretended to be a nice physician by caring for Dimmesdale but actually tortured him at the same time by reminding the secret that Dim had hidden so far. At this point, he not only lost his morality as a human being but also abused his position as a skilled man. However, the more he tormented Dims, the more his mind, spirit, and physical health had been weakened. ‘What evil have I done the man?’ asked Roger Chillingworth again. (14) This is what Chillingworth told Hester that he is the reason Dim alive. He was so revengeful that he couldn’t aware of the wrong things he had done by rationalizing.

According to the evidence above, Hawthorne uses three main characters to represent the theme of sin, hypocrisy, and revenge in the scarlet letter. Hawthorne gives readers a chance to think about the impact of visibility and invisibility of sin. Whether the sin is visible or not, both Hester and Dimmesdale suffered from different reasons and the pain of the suffering cannot be compared to each other. Also, he suggests that going on revenge can bring back more suffering on oneself if it goes too much. Even if all those three characters held different roles and themes, they all let readers feel their pain.   

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