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Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Submitted by: carryetta
  • on November 15, 2010
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,292 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel ‘The Scarlet Letter’ Hester Prynne appears as the main character. She lives in strict Puritan society in New England and differs from her coaevals who defame her when they recognize she has played her husband false and given birth to adulterine child. Moreover she is obliged to wear embroidered scarlet letter A on her bosom meaning ‘Adulteress’ which was the most disgraceful token for woman of those days. In this novel Hester appears also in the role of proud beautiful woman and loving mother, but all this qualities are changed in her mind and behavior throughout the novel.  
Hester is a demiurge of her token; while interpretating her sin she diverges from the religious doxy and afterwards seems heretic who betrays Puritanism because of her freethinking: “She gained the liberty of mind”. In the novel the scarlet letter always follows Hester, it is inseparable as a curse. She fights against this token, and tries to overcome its fatal power. By embroidering the letter with lovely design she tends to modify it from shameful insignia to tasteful decoration on the rich dress. But this attempt is not successful. Because the most important thing is not the sense seen by Hester, it is attitude of the society. The letter is the symbolical expression of social opinion. In this respect it is typical that in governor’s house the letter grows and covers Hester’s figure.   It is symbolic. The defendant does not exist for judges. They see only the bearer of certain guilt. The guilt covers a person by itself. Hawthorne instead longs to show the relativity of the guilt and to point how a person who is considered to be a criminal can happen almost the saint; whereas one who is calls the saint by judges happens a secret sinner in fact. When in woods Hester takes off and throws away the cursed letter, little Pearl rebels and demands her mother to return the usual form. Unconsciously Pearl pushes Hester to take that image which was required by the puritan...

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