The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Critical Essay

Last Updated: 19 Apr 2023
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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.

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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.

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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Critical Essay. (2018, Aug 26). Retrieved from

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