The Scarlet Letter Analysis

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Education

Document 1

It is considered Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “masterwork” (Campbell 89). Hawthorne wrote this novel after his dismissal from his political position in the Salem Custom house. The novel is filled with allegor and symbolism. The masterpiece is a classic example of the kind of conflict that exists between human emotion and intellect. Basically, the novel tries to distinguish good and evil by comparing them where it majorly leans on the breaking of rules of the puritan society, a society with strong religious beliefs. The sinful acts of Hester and Dimmesdale leaves them with the burden of trying to reconcile their sinfulness with their lived experiences. In the Puritan society, sin is a threat to the community and the only way of dealing with it is punishment and oppression.

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However, for Hester and Dimmesdale, sin acts as a tool for development of sympathy and understanding for others. Sin also encourages personal growth. Despite this, for the Puritans, the state of purity is the most important thing. Most of Hawthorne’s works are mainly focused on evil alienation and loneliness (Harding 67). He tries to examine the kind of effects that evil has on the human mind and as well focuses on the dark side of human character. Most of his works focus on a man in a certain society. His interests are mainly understanding how the human mind deals with doing wrong or breaking the law. Its without doubt that Hawthorne has used symbolism throughout his novel. This leads to loneliness.

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Finally, the last meaning of the Scarlet Letter is portrayed when Hester’s personality develops to be admirable in the society. Her selfless work of helping the poor brings out a meaning of the Letter “A” as ability, admirable and angel. This last meaning therefore ends up outdoing the previously known meanings of the Scarlet Letter. For Hester, the Scarlet Letter is a symbol of her experiences and character. Additionally, here Hester is able to take off her letter of shame. The representation of a dark world is in the sense that in the forest, puritan laws do not exist, in the forest people sell their soul to the devil, and in the forest is where witches gather. Being a dark place nobody is able to see all things happening in a forest.

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People have the freedom to do as they wish in the forest, for instance, Hester and Dimmesdale were committing what the society branded a sin in the forest and therefore the forest in this context represents dark and evil. The forest further symbolizes a certain kind of protection from the strict religious Puritan laws (Ziff 128). e. socially acceptable events and events that takes place covertly. An individual’s actions are exposed by daylight and this makes them vulnerable to punishment. Events that are difficult to tolerate in daylight are concealed by the night –for example, the encounter that Dimmesdale had with Pearl and Hester on the scarfold. The two themes are typically related to the novels themes of outside appearances verses inner state.

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