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The Scarlet Letter: Social Irony and the Paradox of Justice - Research Paper Example

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This essay discusses "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathanial Hawthorn, that is a story about the imposed shame by a community of a woman whose pregnancy is evidence of her infidelity, creating a rich discourse on the irony of social condemnation. …
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The Scarlet Letter: Social Irony and the Paradox of Justice
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Download file to see previous pages In discussing the irony of the story, the feminist point of view must be considered for the ways in which Hester has been presented. According to Colacurcio “Hester Prynne is an extraordinary woman who falls afoul of a theocratic and male-dominated society: and the problems which cause them to be singled out for exemplary punishment” (461). Hester proves, throughout the story, that she is made of strong moral character with a defined sense of service and righteousness. Yet, she is compelled to serve as an example of how not to live life through the public humiliation she suffers over the details of her private life.
Hence it can be concluded that a part of the irony within The Scarlet Letter is that Hawthorne has created a mythology of the life within the Puritan community, and then made a commentary through the creation of a historically referenced of a fictional event. While Bancroft, an inspiration for Hawthorne, expounded the virtues of the Puritans and their profound dedication to citizenship, Hawthorne saw the dark side of this, the required obedience and the effect of going against the social rules that prevailed. Hester becomes the ultimate example of a good citizen when she returns to Boston and becomes unselfishly committed to her community, serving them for whatever need they would bring to her (Thomas 183). The life of Hester Prynne is intended to show the conflict between the person and the perceived shame that a person is forced to bear through the opinion of a hypocritical society. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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