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The Scarlet Letter - Research Paper Example

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Customer inserts his/her full name Date The Scarlet Letter Literary Criticism Outline Thesis: The powerful impact of vivid imagination, sublime messages and sophisticated literary discourse is constrained to some extent by the lack of action, overuse of symbolism and inadequate historical depiction in Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”…
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The Scarlet Letter
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"The Scarlet Letter"

Download file to see previous pages Overuse of symbolism A. Mystic “A” and the embroidered badge B. Imagination of the Letter “A” in lines of red IV. The theme is a reflection of the author’s life A. Metaphors vs. direct narration B. Ambivalent depiction of women C. Hawthorne’s family life V. Inadequate depiction of historical context A. English spoken in that era VI. Dual nature of characters A. Chillingworth’s angelic and demonic nature B. More than one aspect of human nature The Scarlet letter has been defined as a fine piece of art that readers would want to return to during any era. What sets it apart is the high level of intellect and originality of thought as opposed to the crude, violent and warm depictions of most other novels of similar nature at that time. Yet it has been criticized heavily for its slow progression and failure to involve the readers through drama, action and violence. The powerful impact of vivid imagination, sublime messages and sophisticated literary discourse is constrained to some extent by the lack of action, overuse of symbolism and inadequate historical depiction in Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”. The Scarlet letter begins with in a village setting where Dimmesdale and his companion Moose are on a peace mission. However, considering the persistent theme of adultery in the novel, the Scarlet Letter does not touch upon madness and jealousy which reduce its effectiveness (Bloom 7). It is only when Chillingworth is brought into limelight in the story does the author give an account of the romance and obsessive feelings that accompany jealousy (Bloom 7). Therefore, the warmth and passion that should’ve accompanied the subject was not present. Furthermore, there was ample scope for a lot of action since liberation is the topic of focus throughout the novel. This is one of the major issues in the novel where no such action is depicted. Hawthorne seems to have confined the characters to the Puritan setting whereby these individuals are engaged in cognitive behavior of thinking, interpreting and speculating as well as feeling, loving and hating; however, rarely are they seen doing anything. From the theme of the novel, readers would expect violence, assault, rape, suicide as well as extended romance; however, all this is rarely described as happening in the novel. This lack of depiction results in little ‘drama’ in the story as the scope of the theme has not been fully exploited by Hawthorne. Although, the absence of passion and the cold and ingenious fantasy cannot be termed as weaknesses of The Scarlet Letter, they tend to make the story less touching to even the most intelligent of all readers. A little more hideously human and crude depiction of natural violence and love could have left more impact on the readers. Nevertheless, the high level of intellect and sophistication delivered in this work of Hawthorne leaves the reader with a feeling of having a fine and delicately crafted piece of work. Most importantly, however, the overuse of symbolism has been criticized. Authors have claimed that symbolism has been used to the extent of producing a mechanical effect in the novel has been criticized (James 55). For instance, the thought of the “mystic A” that is imprinted on the shirt of the young minister along with the embroidered badge that Hester is destined to wear are evidence of such overuse (James 55). This suggestion should have been ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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