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Thematic Analysis- The scarlet letter - Essay Example

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Summary
Name The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter is an intriguing story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne which is set in a Puritan societal setup in Boston. The story revolves mainly around the character of Hester Prynne who gives birth to a daughter named Pearl and is punished owing to her act of adultery…
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Thematic Analysis- The scarlet letter

Download file to see previous pages... The Scarlet Letter uses the difficult journey of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale to shed light upon the human condition and how human life is characterized by sin and suffering. An important characteristic of a human being is that he is not perfect and that from time to time he has a temptation to drift from the right path and turn towards committing a sin. This characteristic is depicted in the story by Hawthorne by the sin that Hester commits by sleeping with another man despite of being married. Hester becomes pregnant and she is questioned several times regarding the name of her lover but she does not reveal his identity. This feature of human condition (that is sin) is further strengthened in the story when it is revealed that the man who was also involved in this act of adultery with Hester was Arthur Dimmesdale, the minister of the Church. This revelation supports the belief that a human being can never be perfect no matter what position he holds in the society and that every being can be sinful owing to the temptations of human nature. Nathaniel Hawthorne explains the nature of evil and good in the story. Hester and Dimmesdale are the two people who commit the sin but they display their goodness by repenting for their sins. Hester is punished in public for her act but she faces her difficulties with grace and does not run away. She rather becomes stronger and dignified in her period of punishment and this earns respect from the people owing to this. On the other hand, Dimmesdale faces his suffering alone and he pierces the scarlet A on his chest. He is not as strong as Hester to reveal his sin in public but he suffers deep down and falls ill. He finally reveals his act in public and dies. Their characters display the good side of human nature as they repent for their sinful act. Dimmesdale is a religious man who understands that their illegal unity by running away would yield them nothing in this world and the world hereafter. He explains this by saying, “I fear! I fear! It may be, that, when we forgot our God,--when we violated our reverence each for the other's soul,--it was vain to hope that we could meet hereafter, in an everlasting and pure reunion.” These lines are a display of his regret for his sin. The evil side of human nature is seen in the character of Roger Chillingworth. He is Hester’s husband who deserted her years back and left her alone and he returns at the time when she is being punished for her act of adultery. Chillingworth may be considered responsible for the position that Hester is placed in because it is probably her loneliness that drove her towards her act of sin. Despite of the sin being committed by her, she comes out of it gracefully. But Chillingworth works towards seeking revenge. The evilness of Chillingworth is explained by Dimmesdale when he says, “That old man's revenge has been blacker than my sin. He has violated, in cold blood, the sanctity of a human heart”. Chillingworth is an evil man who does not let Hester live in peace and spies on Dimmesdale as well and is ready to go to any depths for the attainment of his revenge. The Scarlet Letter is a perfect story written by Hawthorne which provides a depiction of the human nature. It throws light upon the aspects of sin, evil and goodness. A human being cannot be perfect and sinful acts are a part of the existence of human life. Hester accepts her sin and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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