The Scarlet Letter
In modern day life, strong emotions tend to guide the actions individuals make on a daily basis. Having such an intense emotion can lead an individual to believe a deceitful or unlawful action is one of good. Nathaniel Hawthorne is an American novelist who writes romantic stories because he was a part of the Romanticism Movement. The novel The Scarlet Letter shows the story about a woman named Hester Prynne who has sinned and has been forced to wear an embroiled A on her for the whole community to see. Hester is living in a strict puritan society where she can’t allow her emotions or senses to dictate her actions even when there is no intention of committing such an unlawful deed. The people in the society can say any hurtful or cruel words about Hester and her sin because she is now an outcast in her own world among everyone else. The only place where she can be forgiven is in nature, so that is where Hester and Dimmesdale can be honest about what they have done. Hester doesn’t allow the A that identifies her sin control how she should act or how she lives her daily life as a normal human being.
Nathanial Hawthorne emphasized on emotions and senses that a typical human would face during the American Romanticism Movement. Hester Prynne is put in front of the eyes of the whole puritan community as she is forced to face her unlawful deed which resulted into her having an embroiled A put on her bosom. As Hester Prynne is facing her reality, she is being criticized for not being able to control her emotions and natural senses. The A that is embroidered onto Hester’s bosom shows the community that there are consequences that come with emotions, whether they can be controlled or not. Hester is now in an untamed natural world where the community can say whatever they want about her and her daughter just because of the actions that she chose to take. As stated in the book , “On the other hand, a penalty which in our days would infer a degree of mocking infamy and ridicule might then be invested with almost as stern a dignity as the punishment of death itself” shows connection to the definition of the Romanticism movement. Hester has the A permanently to her name and identity now and it will never go away because she is in an untamed world where her unlawful deed follows her everywhere she goes. She feels the shame and agony as she takes each step past the “stern-browed men” and “unkindly visaged women” without being able to cover her face. Hester found it almost intolerable to be standing there in front of the public staring at her child and bosom taking the stings and stabs that were thrown her way. Hester Prynne is in an untamed world where the women and man can say cruel and awful words about her because of a blatantly obvious A embroidered on her bosom. The men and women are saying “if we stripped Madam Hester’s rich gown off her sanity shoulders; and as for the red letter, which she hath stitched so curiously, I’ll bestow a rag of mine own rheumatic flannel, to make a flitter one.” The women and men can say degrading words behind her back or as she walks past them and there is no way of stopping them from expressing their emotions because of the untamed world that they have been placed in.
Throughout the book, Hester Prynne, though being the female lead in the story, is not the only individual being affected mentally by the world that is the new Eden. The book makes it known that Dimmesdale does not receive community negativity; him being a Minister, always having his hand over his heart, not showcasing his embroidered “A” to the public. Having this character that should be sharing fault for the crime committed, but not sharing the consequences, shows that men may not be as invincible as they may seem. As stated by Roger Chillingworth, husband of Hester Prynne, “these men deceive themselves, they fear to take up the shame that rightfully belongs to them. Their love for man, their zeal for God’s service these holy impulses may or may not coexist in their hearts with the evil inmates to which their guilt has unbarred the door, and which must needs propagate a hellish breed within them.” The previously stated quote sheds light on the fact that men should share shame for a crime committed with a woman (adultery). In nature, men are seen as more dominant, stronger, worthier than women. Dimmesdale, knowing that if his A was showcased for the community to see would jeopardize his reputation, chooses to cover up his embroidered letter on his chest. Until one day Dimmesdale gets the courage to confess his sin as an adulterer in a grand gesture and once he does this Chillingworth power over him is officially lost. All in all, this book perfectly shows that in nature, all sorts of emotions dominate an individual day in and day out.
While the whole book itself connects to the definition of the Romanticism Movement by proving that strong emotions rule all actions, at the same time, Hester takes on a new future with her perfectly embroidered “A” on her bosom. Instead of choosing to be diminished by the letter, she showcases her independence and faces her new reality with a strong head. As stated in chapter 2 “it was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy, that the apparel which she wore; and which was of the splendor accordance with the taste of the age, but greatly beyond what was allowed by the sumptuary regulations of the colony.” The community has never seen Hester Prynne look so lady like as she is walking out of the prison door with a perfectly embroiled A on her bosom. People that knew her before this day were astonished to see that there wasn’t a cloud of gray over her, but beauty was shining through her for the people to see. The A had a different effect upon Hester because it took her out of the normal relation of humanity and put her in a sphere of her own as being different. A woman of the community who was one of Hester’s spectators felt that she did a impeccable job of embroidering the A and wondered if any woman before her had the same way of showing of her unlawful deed. As the book continues Hester Prynne does’t allow the A on her bosom to dictate her punishment. Hester Prynne alters the meaning of the letter A with her hard work and not letting the A determine what she can and can’t do just because of her sin that she did. Years have passed since the people of the community has last seen Hester Prynne and she has returned by herself without pearl to take up her long-forsaken shame of the scarlet letter. As stated in the book “but, through the remainder of Hester’s life, there were indications that the recluse of the scarlet letter was the object of love and interest with some inhabitant of another land.” Hester changes the meaning of the scarlet letter to able meaning she is an able women who didn’t let the letter define her and her actions for the rest of her life.
The puritan community has a very strict society where an individual can’t allow themselves to let their emotions and senses control the actions they take throughout life. A rose bush has continually been at the prison since Ann Hutchinson entered and the flowers have been kept alive ever since. As stated in the book “it may serve, let us hope, to symbolize some sweet moral blossom that may be found along the track, or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow.” The rose bush is hoping to give the prisoners some relief and reassure that nature could have pity and be kind to the err55rprisoner as they enter their doom. The black flower punishes in while the rose bush shows that there is forgiveness to those who are being sentenced to their death. Hester and Dimmesdale meet in the dark forest where is the only place that they have felt safe to interact with each other. As stated in the book “oh, I have much to tell thee about her! But, in very much truth, she is right as regards this hateful token. I must bear its to torture yet a little longer-only a few days longer- until we shall have left this region and look back hither as to a land which we have dreamed of. The forest cannot hide it.” Hester and Dimmesdale only talked about their escapement from the society in the forest because that’s where they feel comfort and protection. No where else in the society can make them feel that way except the forest because when they are surrounded by other people of the society they don’t talk about what happens in the forest. Nature is forgiving and since both of them have either guilt or shame following them because they committed adultery that this is the only place where they can be themselves with each other. Nature gives them a break from a society where you can’t be human and allow any emotions or senses to surface.
The Scarlet Letter is a great representation of the American Romanticism movement that Nathaniel Hawthorne was apart of. Hester Prynne is forced into a cruel world where she gets criticized for her emotions and the actions that happen because of them. She is surrounded by people who just see the A on her bosom and not see her for anything else because the society is so untamed. The society is trying to be established so that there is no evil to be seen and to make sure that if people follow their emotions there will be consequences. Hester can’t control what the men and women of the society say about her or her child or that her child can’t play with the other children. Hester Prynne is portrayed as an attempt of society to correct sin through the struggle of an individual by placing shame upon her that everyone sees. The society has made her an outcast because of her sin, but she has survived it and has become a stronger person through the whole experience. She was humiliated and was all by herself with no one else feeling the way she was, but was able to overcome it and handle whatever they threw at her. The society was so against Hester for the sin she has committed that it was her who was her biggest enemy it was the society itself and what they were doing to her to make her feel that way. Chillingworth committed a terrible sin when he tries to take revenge on Dimmesdale when he knows that it is the worst sin and will tear him and his soul apart. Nature also plays an important role in Hester’s life because it is not like the society and how nature helped her gain wisdom to overcome her sin even though she was in the public eye constantly. The Scarlet letter really showed the connection between the natural world and human emotions through Hester and Dimmesdale finally feelings comfort and protection from the society. Nature allowed Hester to feel human and feel like her emotions and senses were allowed to happen even though the cruel society made her feel humiliated, she still found a place where she could be herself.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was apart of the Romanticism Movement and wrote a novel called The Scarlet Letter. Hester Prynne is in an untamed natural world where she has committed a sin and has to deal with all the criticism that comes with it. She has an embroiled A put on her and she has to wear it everywhere she goes with the shame and agony following her. Hester doesn’t allow the A to define her by making sure it is perfectly embroiled into her clothing to allow for a different meaning to surface. She has no way to escape from the strict society except in nature where she feels secure from the outside world where all they see is her sin. Hester Prynne isn’t the only who is facing the wrath from the public eye because Arthur Dimmesdale has guilt flooding inside of him from the sin. The Puritan society doesn’t allow the individuals to feel their true emotions or senses or else they will sin and be an outcast with shame following them everywhere they turn.
The Scarlet Letter was Nathaniel Hawthorne’s way of bringing attention to the American Puritan societies of the 1600s and sharing his views on them. Although his transcendentalist background was reflected in some of his views that opposed those of the Puritans, Hawthorne did a good job of not letting those personal views alter the historical context of his writing. Aside from the fiction that was included in some of the characters and parts of the story line to help create a framework in which Hawthorne showed his points rather than telling them, the story he told was true and expresses his true views on the topic. Without a doubt, Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter with some intention of putting the American Puritan societies of the 1600s on a pedestal for the world to see so that he could expose the weaknesses that he saw within their society to all. However, he also wrote it as a way to compare eras under the disguise of a seemingly simple story of a sinner in a devoutly Puritan society.
In the novel, a Boston colony was the Puritan society that Hawthorne used as the setting of the story. At no point did he tell the reader what the society was like or how it worked, but rather showed them through what was said or done by the characters within it. For example, the first time that the main character, Hester Prynne, was introduced was when she had to walk from the prison to the scaffold to begin her punishment for committing adultery. In the midst of this, Hawthorne included dialogue between people in the crowd in regards to Prynne’s punishment.
One such remark was made by a Puritan man explaining the situation to a stranger, “…they have not been bold to put in force the extremity of our righteous law against her. The penalty thereof is death. But, in their great mercy and tenderness of heart, they have doomed Mistress Prynne to stand only a space of three hours on the platform of the pillory, and then and thereafter, for the remainder of her natural life, to wear a mark of shame upon her bosom’ (Hawthorne51).” Had Hawthorne left out dialogue he would have had to flat out tell the reader the severity and strictness of the Puritan society. However, by using dialogue he drew a greater reaction because it showed that not only the leaders in this society are this strict and devout, but also the average citizens. The dialogues, thoughts, and references between the characters, and in some cases the narrator, serve as Hawthorne’s method for portraying his points by showing, not telling.
The most prominent point that Hawthorne needed to bring forth in The Scarlet Letter was regarding the lack of humanity and human nature within the Puritan society. Hester Prynne was an embodiment of this idea for the entirety of the novel. Before being arrested and receiving a life-long penalty for her sins and crimes, Prynne was accepted in her society and treated like a true member. However, as soon as her sins were made known and used to make her into an example of sin for her society to see every day, Prynne was practically removed from her society altogether as if she had never been a part of it. The scarlet letter on her chest alienated her from society, which was worse than death. “[The letter] had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and inclosing her in a sphere by herself (Hawthorne 44).” Hawthorne gave examples multiple times throughout the story in which he exposed over and over again the lack of human nature to be decent to others despite their past wrongs.
Even towards the end of the novel many years after Prynne was sentenced with the scarlet letter, it continued to keep her isolated from the rest of society, “Unscrupulous as it was, however, it could not bring them nearer than a circuit of several yards (Hawthorne 191).” Here Hawthorne highlights not only the lack of human nature once again by showing how people keep their distance from Prynne as if she is inhuman, but also how the lack of change in the society’s view of her despite the amount of time that has passed remained unchanged as a result of their extreme intolerance, especially towards a sinner like her. In regards to Hawthorne’s being a transcendentalist and having some of those ideas to blame for the conflicts he saw within the Puritan society, it did not help that there were other religious societies during the 1600s, such as the Quakers, who handled things in a way that made the Puritans look merciless.
The Quakers were pacifists who were extremely tolerant compared to the Puritans and represented more closely the beliefs of a transcendentalist than a devout Puritan. For this reason, Hawthorne would have been more understanding of them and in comparing the two societies definitely seen far more wrong with the Puritans than the Quakers. Hawthorne’s issues with Puritan society directly reflect the ideas and movements of the era in which he lived and wrote The Scarlet Letter. Living in the transcendentalist era and being a transcendentalist, Hawthorne experienced the shift of education from church to institution. He looked to intuition and imagination for knowledge instead of looking to religion. For this reason it was not surprising that he saw problems in the way the Puritans were so devout and intolerant.
The Puritans lived for only religion and Hawthorne lived for knowledge and intuition gained any way but religiously. Transcendentalists like Hawthorne believed that all people were equal and held equal opportunity for anything in life, which was another topic for conflict between his views and the Puritans’. In their society no type of equality existed, as it was basically the samehierarchical structure that they all left England to escape, but then they ended up rebuilding under a different name and different laws.
The Puritans’ extreme intolerance also played a huge role in the equality conflict. In the first chapter when Hawthorne refers to “…the sainted Ann Hutchinson (Hawthorne 40)” it proves that he was not a supporter of the Puritans or at the very least their intolerance. Ann Hutchinson was a woman who challenged the Puritan authority in Boston as God’s elect and by preaching in her own home and debating the role of women. Her reward for doing her own thing outside of the church was to be tried and convicted of heresy by the Governor John Winthrop who is a character in The Scarlet Letter, excommunicated from the church, and banished to New York. In that is yet another example of inequality and intolerance that conflicts with the transcendentalist beliefs of Hawthorne’s.
In writing The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne’s goal was not purely to bash the Puritans for what he saw wrong in their society, but also to in a way use them as an example in which the advancements of society could be seen between the eras of Hester Prynne and his own. Hester Prynne did exist as Hawthorne’s way of evoking all of the issues that he saw within the societies of the American Puritans of the 1600s because all of the wrongs happened to her in the story, but she also represented his beliefs as a transcendentalist. Prynne’s ability to persevere through all of the embarrassment and guilt that came with wearing the scarlet letter took a lot of bravery and courage on her part, and Hawthorne made her that way for a reason.
The feminist movement that took place just before Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter is represented through Prynne. Just as women in Hawthorne’s time were standing up for themselves, holding their own, and breaking cultural barriers Hester Prynne did the same in a way that fit into her era. By enduring her punishment instead of running, supporting herself and Pearl despite the agony going into town caused her, and raising Pearl alone Prynne did break barriers of the time and hold her own ground. Hawthorne’s ability to make The Scarlet Letter a novel of his era while simultaneously remaining one of the past makes it into so much more than the story of a sinner in a Puritan society.
In 1 850 Is a story of adulterated love and revenge, set in sass’s Boston, in a small Puritan community. Nathaniel Hawthorne evokes transcendentalism and romanticism in a variety of ways throughout the novel, focusing on youthful innocence, truths of the human hearts, the pureness of the natural world, worth and freedom of the individual, and the ubiquitous Idea that the artificial nature of society corrupts. Because of the time in which Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter, he was greatly Influenced by the Ideas of transcendentalism, and romanticism.
A huge Inspiration that led Hawthorne to incorporate these ideas into his writing were the people in which he was involved with on a personal level. At the age of 33, Hawthorne had just published his first book titled, “Twice- Told Tales” and luckily for him it was very popular with a woman named Elizabeth Peabody. Elizabeth Peabody was one of three daughters from an old New England family who was a distant descendent from the family whom the renowned Peabody Museums at Harvard and Yale were named after.
Through her lifetime, Elizabeth managed to acquaint herself with many leading thinkers of her mime, such as Ralph Wald Emerson and Broncos Alcott. This led her to publish her own book in French and German that was considered the “first book-length exposition of transcendentalist ideas”. Later in time, however, Hawthorne married Elizabethan younger sister, Sophia, but still had a great reverence for Elizabethan ideas, works, and person.
Due to Hawthorn’s association with the entire Peabody family he was compelled to write The Scarlet Letter with much Influence from them, their connections with transcendental and romantic supporters, and society as a whole. Throughout the entire plot, nature and everything that goes along with it is portrayed as a pure and happy source of bliss, guidance, and sympathy. At the beginning of the book it is given in the first chapter an example of nature working to be kind while also being surrounded by a far less pure and virtuous environment.
Hawthorn’s narrator In this example, Is describing a rosebush enveloped within the depraved atmosphere of the village prison: “But, on one side of the portal, and rooted almost at the threshold, was a wild rose-bush, covered, in this month of June, with its delicate mess, which might be imagined to offer their fragrance and fragile beauty to the prisoner as he went in, and to the condemned criminal as he came forth to his doom, in token that the deep heart of Nature could pity and be kind to him,” (46).
This description epitomizes the sympathetic propensity of nature to be kind, empathetic, and It’s ability to brighten an otherwise corrupt environment. Another example of Hawthorne including the purity and joy of nature into his writing is when Hester and Dimmest are in the woods, Hester tosses the scarlet letter that had lay upon her erase off to the side, and seemingly by chance it lands stone’s throw away from a babbling brook.
Upon removing the scarlet letter imposed by society, “All at once, as with a sudden smile of heaven, forth burst the sunshine, pouring a very flood into the gold, and gleaming down the solemn trunks of the gray trees,” (183). The purity of nature allows the natural world to cast light upon things that were once in despair turning them into things of elation and transforming them into things of beauty and joy, “Such was the sympathy of Nature- that wild, heathen Nature of the forest, never objurgated by human law, nor illumined by higher truth- with the bliss of these two spirits,” (183).
This description, however, touches less upon the purity and Joyous temperament of nature and more upon Nature’s immunity from being corrupted by the societal norms and laws This quotations shows this by stating that the pureness of nature will never be illumined or subjugated by human law or higher truth signifying that nature is a incorruptible and individual source if kindness, forgiving means, and elated contentment. Another element of this story that is based off the runners of nature is when Hester is deciding where she and her child will reside.
She chooses an abandoned cottage, on the outskirts of town, surrounded by the forest. Transcendentalism teaches, that the purity of nature should be embraced and that nature was a far more beneficial environment because of the fact that the artificial nature of civilization horribly corrupted society. The corruption of society as a whole is the most influential element of transcendental ideas Hawthorne incorporated in The Scarlet Letter.
Puritans believed in a strict form of government, elisions customs, and laws that-if broken-were often responded to with harsh punishments and an overall feeling of displacement in society. An instance of this would be when Hester is forced to wear the scarlet letter pinned to her clothing and stand upon the scaffold with her infant child for hours. In this case not only is she punished by the tangible letter and stated consequence, but also by the perception by which others in the community view not only herself, but little Pearl as well.
Hawthorn’s narrator describes the aftermath of Hester punishment and how the irrupt laws in society have led to her feeling of being ostracizes and euthanized: “In all her intercourse with society, however, there was nothing that made her feel as if she belonged to it. Every gesture, every word, and even the silence with those in whom she came in contact, implied and often expressed, that she was banished, and as much alone as if she inhibited another sphere, or communicated with the common nature by other organs and senses than the rest of human kind,” (78).
This narration speaks to the severity of the punishment not necessarily thought about reliability, but how it affects a person psychologically and emotionally over time. This quote also refers back to how corrupt society is because society will not only treat her as an outsider but also not acknowledge her existence as a quintessential piece of society. Another example of Hawthorne creating corrupt society is when the powerful people in the village decide that Hester is a bad example for her child.
Because they believe she cannot possibly be a good role model they come to the conclusion that taking Pearl away from her mother would be the best thing to do. The belief among many in the village was that, “If the child, on the other hand, were really capable of moral and religious growth, and possessed the elements of ultimate salvation, then, surely, it would enjoy all the fairer prospects of these advantages by being transferred to a wiser and better guardianship than Hester Prune’s,” (91).
This was, of course greatly supported by Governor Bellingham, one of the most influential place in society, she develops an opinion about the leaders in society and the human foundations that seemed corrupt. The reason that Hester is able to develop a seasonable and minimal appreciation for the society of which she is marginally a part, is solely because of the fact that she is detached from it.
Upon Hester realizing her self-worth and purpose in life Hawthorne compares her view point of society to that of an Indian’s appreciation for societal convention: “For years past she looked from this estranged point of view at human institutions, and whatever priests or legislators have established; criticizing all with hardly more reverence than the Indian would feel for the clerical band, the Judicial robe, the pillory, the gallows, the reside, or the church,” (180).
Another example of Hawthorne incorporating transcendental themes into his writing is when he describes Damselfly’s return to town from the meeting with Hester and Pearl in the woods. The reader is informed that, “the same minister returned not from the forest” because his demeanor and everything about him has changed due to the affair and the way society has handled the act and the inevitable punishment. The sordidness of society in this village does not only create corrupt the laws, assign harsh punishments, and corrupt adults, but also negatively influences children.
Children growing up in this society are led by the examples by those around them. They are taught to treat Hester and Pearl in a certain way because of her sin and how the rest of society treats them. While walking through the village with Pearl Hester overhears some children, “Behold, verily, there is the woman of the scarlet letter; and, of truth, moreover, there is the likeness of the scarlet letter running at her side! Come, therefore, and let us fling mud at them! ” (93). This statement, spoken by a young schoolboy, signifies the effect corrupt society has on children who know no different from how they were raised.
It also speaks to the cruelness that Hester and Pearl were forced to endure because of corrupt society punishments, and contradicts the transcendental ideals of youthful purity and innocence. Youthful innocence was an ideal in transcendentalism that Hawthorne emphasized in The Scarlet Letter. Throughout the novel Hawthorn’s presents his ideal of society. He stresses the importance of youthful innocence to such an extreme that being virtuous, innocent, and pure was more natural than being educated. An example of youthful innocence having precedence over education is when
Dimmest is walking through town and see a young woman, who possesses the innocence and religious purity that are the most valuable qualities for a young lady to possesses. He compares her purity and fairness to that of paradise: “She was fair and pure as a lily that bloomed in Paradise. The minister knew well that he was himself enshrined with the stainless sanctity of her heart, which hung it’s snowy curtains about his image, imparting to religion the warmth of love, and to love a religious purity,” (197).
This illustrates the especially large impact that youthful innocence has over things while also tying in religion and purity. Another way that Hawthorne evokes the theme of youthful innocence over education is the fact that Dimmest is a very educated, eloquent man, but is still a sinner. While talking to Hester, Chlorinating reflects upon himself, “But all my life had been made up of earnest, studious, thoughtful, quiet years, bestowed faithfully for the increase of the other,- faithfully for the advance of human welfare,” (156).
This quotation proves Hawthorn’s transcendental belief that youthful innocence does surpass education. Chlorinating did not seem to comprehend the fact that education means nothing unless you are a pure and innocent soul. The reason why this matters is because Chlorinating thought that his education should make him inept to the bad things that he’s done, but he was not due to his hidden infamy and forbidden sin. In The Scarlet Letter the feeling of youthful innocence over education is often evident after an appearance of a young mother or young woman.
In the beginning of the book, on the first morning of Hester punishment, through the mesh of voices a young mother mess intent on opposing the corrupt, cruel and harsh views of society with a lighter more virtuous and sympathetic opinion. The wives and women of this town are confused by Hester punishment concluding that her punishment for this sin should be more severe, such as branding an “A” on her forehead or even killing her. Upon hearing this a young woman interposes with “Ah, but, let her cover the mark as she will, the pang of it will always be in her heart,” (49).
This piece if dialogue really illustrates the regard that Hawthorne has for youthful innocence and the pure outlook it gives to not only the problems in life, but also the solutions. Lingering pain is something Hawthorne also talks about when touching upon truths of the human heart. Throughout The Scarlet Letter there are many descriptions pertaining to the foundations of human heartache, love, sin, and life. Hawthorne expertly places these statements throughout his work to make each lesson learned distinct and specific to the situation in which it was found.
Hawthorne believed that the lingering pain on feels was always there, but because of our natural inclination to make it through cost anything our hearts and minds ignore the pain we feel until it is at level of manageability; until we can process and really feel the consequence of our sadness or, in this case, sin. “In our nature, however, there is a provision alike marvelous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it,” (52).
Hawthorne believed that in one’s the nature there is an adoption that makes our hearts capable of dealing with torture and misery or sadness without knowing to what degree it affects s. This quotation expresses the pain that Hester doesn’t feel the full effects of now, but will in the future. Another truth of the human heart that was revealed examines the dishonesty between Damselfly’s and the public and the outcome of that dishonesty.
Hawthorne informs the reader that one cannot portray a different side of oneself the public and a different one to one’s own without being unsure of which is not only the real one but also as to which was trying to be denied in the first place. Dimmest was the person whom Hawthorne focused on while describing this truth f not only him but also of the human heart, “No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one may be the true,” (194).
This quotation, in context, expresses the torture Dimmest goes through in figuring out how to deal with the sin he committed and also how he contends with his imminent confession. It also describes the change in Damselfly’s character. How he is portraying himself as a feeble, reverend to the public, and a horrible sinner to himself eventually confuses During the course of The Scarlet Letter there is a focus on the dilapidating effects that guilt has one’s self.
The feeling of guilt is one of the more constant themes in this novel because everything seems to relate back to it affecting the characters’ lives, inner psychology, and the actual plot of this infamous novel. “And be the stern and sad truth spoken, that the breach which guilt has once made into the human soul is never, in this mortal state, repaired,” this quote speaks to the severe impact that guilt has on the human soul and heart and how impossible this can be to fix. Throughout
The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne incorporates elements of transcendentalism and romanticism through his narrator. His portrayal of the pureness of the natural world, the pervasive idea that society corrupts, youthful innocence, and the truths of the human heart are all found within each plot twist, every chapter, and in all of the ideas explicitly and implicitly revealed in this timeless novel. Hawthorne not only used these elements to write a novel that was widely regarded as a literary success in 1850, but also managed to write a novel that would still be a seminal work of American Fiction.
Nathaniel Hawthorne expresses Hester Prune’s self-perception by using the concept of physiognomy, the notion that the outer appearance of a person reflects his or her Inner qualities. One of the common methods through which people display their beliefs and emotions is the manner In which they present themselves to society. Hester displays her beliefs about her own character through her choice of clothing. Hawthorne also uses clothing In order to depict Hester Implementation of self enmeshment, which is a result of her negative self-perception.
She alms to express that her appearance has become so unattractive as a result of her sin. In other words, her the unbecoming state of her heart which has become Impure Is reflected In her clothing made of “the coarsest materials” with colors of “the most somber hue. ” The most eye-catching article of her outfit, the scarlet letter, also greatly contributes to the physical display of her sin. Purposely reminding the people and herself about that which she is guilty of is how Hester punishes herself mutinously.
Her self punishment involved not only wearing “plain” clothing, but also practicing asceticism in order to prevent her from experiencing any form of enjoyment. When Hester “devoted[sees] so many hours” to sewing “coarse garments” she is limiting herself from reaching her true potential of artistic talent. The coarse garments are symbolic of the bland dull distractions she turns to in order to restrict herself from working on that which she is truly passionate about, in other words, to refrain from creating beautiful and arabesque articles of clothing.
Initially one would find Hester adornment of Pearl ironic in regards to her decision to live simply without any form of enjoyment. However, after closer inspection, it can be inferred from the diction within the text that this might be another form of self punishment. Hester makes beautiful clothing for her daughter Pearl to wear, however this is not for the sake of her passion to create elaborately designed needle-work. The fact that Hawthorne chose to introduce Pearl’s attire in this specific paragraph nits that there is a relation between Hester self punishment and the reason behind why she adorns her daughter.
The implied “deeper meaning” refers to the same reason why Hester wears plain clothing. Pearl’s beautiful clothing makes her stand out when seen in the community, and the color and fancy design of the cloth reminds both Hester and the people of the scarlet letter. Thus, Hester uses Pearl’s attire as a way to punish herself; the clothing will never allow her nor society to forget what she did. Even today, clothing Is one of the mall WAP through which people express themselves.
It Is also a way through which they reward themselves. The opposite of this case Is seen in chapter 5 of The Scarlet Letter; Hawthorne uses clothing to depict how Hester displays negative self-perception. She believes that she must atone for elaborate embroidery. She also uses clothing as a form of self punishment when she dresses her daughter, as it will serve as a constant reminder of her scarlet letter and of the fact that she is forever labeled as an adulteress.
Her existence made most of society feel malcontent. Most of societies intellectual was a structured procedure, everything was played by the book. The novel “The Scarlet Letter” was published March 16,1850 by the astounding author Nathaniel Hawthorne. The novel is set in the 17th century within Boston, a state that was then governed by strict Puritan law.
Hester Prynne, the protagonist is led out of a prison by armed guards carrying her beloved infant daughter Pearl. A glaring red “A” is used to overemphasize the crime that has been committed by Hester, Adultery. Due to the Puritan law, Hester is now forced to encounter public shame for the sin that has been committed by climbing up a scaffold.
Furthermore, As Hester begins to analyze the crowd, she finds herself terrified because her estranged husband is there. Chillingworth, Hester’s alienated husband recognizes her and is instantly appalled. While pretending not to know of Hester’s existence ChillingWorth learns her story from another member of the crowd. Hester was married to a englishman who was supposed to follow her to Boston but never showed.
After two years passed Hester had not only fell into sin but she’s done so by committing adultery that resulted in her bringing another life into the nation and the scarlet letter “A” being embroidered onto her chest. Years past and Hester is released from prison, she now works in a small town working to provide for Pearl.
Chillingworth has become a physician and is now taking care of Dimmesdale, the man who committed adultery with Hester. Chillingworth has always had a severe hatred for Hester but wants her not to reveal that he is her husband. Hester promised to never reveal Chillingworth’s identity. When Hester started to question Chillingworth’s motive, he lies and tells her he doesn’t want to be known as the husband of a faithless women. Chillingworth reveals it is his “Purpose to live and die alone”. Chillingworth threatens Dimmesdale so Hester hesitates but agrees.
The letter “A” that was embroidered onto Hesters chest symbolizing the sin adultery that was committed was used to mortify Hesters well-being. Pearl is obsessed with the letter “A” embroidered into Hesters chest, but Hester swore to never tell Pearl the real meaning. The symbol took a toll on Hester’s life in a sense of she wasn’t able to be true to the one person she cared for,Pearl. This symbol has now become Hester’s identity and soon to be Pearl’s, she’ll live off of her mother’s public shame legacy. Within Pearls lifetime she won’t possibly be able to flourish as it is her right, due to the sin that her mother has committed, it’ll live on forever.
The way symbolism,theme, and examples of figurative language are used within “The Scarlet Letter” is quite phenomenal. Each character qualities were described in a senseless but yes astounding way. Each event was sequenced and had meaningful meaning. Symbols were revealed and used as identity. This sin that was commited haunted and tormented Hester, but she could never let her own fear show.
Identifying and taking ownership is the key to life and Hester pledged to those early in life. Most of societies intellectual was not a structured procedure and everything was not played by the book. Rules were broken, individuals were publically humiliated for their decisions, and identity was found.
Human science fragments everything In order to understand It, kills everything In order to examine It. ” (Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace)l There has always existed the question whether human sciences are considered real sciences and if do they really follow the established guidelines of science. The argument is that the natural sciences take a different approach to results and have a strong dependence on the observer. This is due to the fact, that in some cases human sciences have to take into account concepts, which are hard to measure like peppiness or love.
Likewise, the background knowledge and empathy of the observer affect the results of the experiment. When talking about human sciences is important to highlight that they don’t prove a theory, as there is no 100% certainty in any of the experiments. They only add information to the understanding of a topic or concept. To further develop my argument that states that Human sciences are scientific, the Boob Doll Experiment will be analyses to develop this claim. The Boob Doll Experiment was presented by Albert Bandeau to help prove his belief hat all human behavior was learned through copying and imitating, rather than through genetic factors.
This experiment is still controversial to this day, as many debaters state that today’s globalize society that promotes violence. Therefore children are more prone to violent behavior than in other generations. Dry. Albert Bandeau used children on his experiment, as they have less knowledge on rules of society and less prone on behaving as the society think is right. He had four hypotheses; the first one was that children witnessing aggressive behavior by adults loud replicate their actions even if adults were not nearby.
The second one states that children who have observed non-aggressive behavior are less likely to be violent. Even less than the control group, who have not even seen an adult. (Role Model) The third one proposes that children are more susceptible to copy the actions of an adult of the same-sex. The last one suggested that male children would be more aggressive than the opposite sex. Ii The Experiment had a simple and clearly stated Dependent Variable and Independent Variable. Also it had a Control Group used as comparison with the other woo groups, the one with aggressive and peaceful adults.
Moreover the experiment can be repeated to add up and compare the information; this is a scientific quality that complies with the scientific theory. Another Important aspect to take into account Is that each of the subjects was tested Individually to avoid other Individuals affecting the reactions of the subject. Ill On the other hand, the experiment had some clear flaws. For example It generalizes the results as Just a few children were part of the experiment, so the sample is very narrow and specific.
English GCSE Coursework Essay In Response To The Question ‘How Effective Is Elizabeth Gaskell In Creating A Sense Of Foreboding And Danger In ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’ For A Modern Audience?’
It is my belief that, for a modern audience, the author is effective in creating a sense of foreboding and danger in ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’. This is done by:
* The grandiosity and size of the estate in relation to Hestor and Miss Rosamond and their background; also, their youth and difference in society in relation to the residents of the manor (excluding the servants).
* The withholding of information by the servants and reluctance to divulge into past happenings.
* Writing through Hestor’s point of view- therefore exaggeration of key points.
* Hestor and Miss Rosamond viewing experiences at the manor from the outside looking in due to the lack of time spent at the manor, and the descriptions of Mrs Stark and Miss Furnivall.
* The Vulnerability of both Miss Rosamond and Hestor.
You can read also
The size, grandiosity and history to the manor create an image that Hestor is out of place at the manor due to her background in a lower class. This is illustrated in “Then, at one end of the hall, was a great fireplace, as large as the sides of houses where I come from.” This indicates a wide difference in class, as rich people have larger and more grand houses than people with less money. The “as large as houses where I come from” is a simile that shows the massiveness of the fireplace, but also that Hestor came from a poorer background than what was displayed at the manor.
A mysterious atmosphere is created by the reluctance of the servants to tell Hester about the past at the Lords Furnivall estate, especially over the organ playing and the Spectre Child. The servants’ unwillingness to mention the past is displayed when Hester enquires about the organ playing:
“I asked Dorothy who had been playing the music, and James said very shortly that I was a gawk to the winds soughing through the trees for music: but I saw Dorothy looked at him very fearfully, and Bessy, the kitchen maid, said something beneath her breath, and went quite white.”
This implies that there is something going on, or has gone on, that the servants are not letting on to Hester about. This is evident in the way that James replies “shortly”. This indicates that he was trying to quash the conversation. Also, Dorothy and Bessy’s reactions shows that they know something on the contrary and are not allowed to tell Hester about it. By Dorothy looking fearfully, she is scared of the consequences if she told Hester about the history of the organ player.
When Dorothy shows Hester the picture, she is very anxious to turn the picture back around to conceal the hidden side of the portrait. She also tells Hester to never tell anyone that she knows about the portrait, and that Dorothy told her. This implies that Dorothy is not allowed to tell Hester about the portrait, adding to the mysterious atmosphere. This is shown in: “If I show you, you must never let on, even to James.” This implies that Dorothy is scared of the repercussions of her showing the portrait to Hester. This shows the that information on the portrait is withheld as the reader doesn’t know what happened to the girl in the portrait, and both the reader and Hester wants to know more about the girl, heightening the mysterious atmosphere.
By the story being told through Hestor’s point of view, some points, especially during times including danger, are exaggerated, thus adding to the sense of danger and foreboding. This is shown in: “It was bitter cold; so cold that the air almost took the skin off my face as I ran” This use of poetic writing indicates that the coldness was exaggerated due to the story being written in Hester’s point of view. The use of a metaphor enhances the exaggeration of the coldness.
By Hestor and Miss Rosamond being so new to the manor, they seem to view experiences from the outside looking in, and are unfamiliar with the residents. Also, with the cold descriptions of Mrs Stark and Miss Furnivall, Hestor and Miss Rosamond might take a while to settle into their new life at the manor. Hestor and Miss Rosamond first visit the manor at the start of the story: “Miss Rosamond and me were to go to Furnivall Manor House.” This implies that they would have to settle in to the environment at the Furnivall Manor House because they were new to the house. The cold description of Mrs Stark and Miss Furnivall is: “The hard, sad Miss Furnivall, and the cold Miss Stark.” This induces the reader to believe that the two elderly ladies at the manor were far from welcoming. The inhospitalitle description of the elderly residents indicates that Hestor and Miss Rosamond would not settle in at the manor straight away.
The vulnerability of Miss Rosamond and Hestor adds to the sense of foreboding in the story. In Miss Rosamond, this occurs because she was orphaned at a young age, and she has no knowledge of the dangers of befriending and following the Spectre Child. This is illustrated by: “Hester, I must go! My little girl is there; I hear her; she is coming! Hester, I must go!” This indicates that Miss Rosamond does not know the dangers of the Spectre Child because if she did she would be more reluctant to go with her. Hestor was vulnerable because she came from a lower status in society; she was overwhelmed by the manor and was very new to her environment.
This is indicated when she recollects that she was “Right glad when they rung for the old footman who had shown us in at first.” This implies that she was overwhelmed by the situation that she found herself in and wanted someone to keep her company in her new surrounds. This indicates that she was insecure and agitated when she first entered the manor. By Hestor being agitated when she first goes into the manor, the author is showing that she is vulnerable in her new environment.
Overall, Elizabeth Gaskell is effective in creating a sense of Foreboding and Danger in ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’. This is done by having two vulnerable main characters in which the story is viewed through the elder’s perspective. The situation of the story, and the past that is central to the story are extremely effective techniques.