Analysis Of The Book ' The Scarlet Letter ' Essay

Analysis Of The Book ' The Scarlet Letter ' Essay

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Shadow and light are both obvious aspects of the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Throughout the book, both shadow and light are referenced in multiple different setting and for various different reasons. I found that Hawthorne used shadow and light to allow us to see the characters for who they truly are and how they truly feel. The comparison of shadow and lights can be mirrored by the comparison of nature to civilization in the novel The Adventures Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. We will see that both represent how people are portrayed and seen by society. The themes of shadow and light can be seen in each of the main characters in the novel The Scarlet Letter.
In The Adventures Huckleberry Finn, the town is to shadow as nature is to light in The Scarlet Letter. The river and nature itself represent freedom from civilization and judgment to Huck and Jim. The townspeople in Huck Fin are judgmental, racist, and unaccepting of Huck’s differences and of Jim. Jim is seen as a slave that has no rights when he is within the town or in civilization. When Jim is on the raft going down the river with Huck, Jim is a free man and also free of judgment and scrutiny from the townspeople. We can see this in The Scarlet Letter as the woods and the outskirts of town are places where Hester and Pearl do not feel judged by society and somewhat hide from Hester’s sins. The towns people see Hester and Pearl as dark and sinful people, and they are judgmental of them. When Hester is in town, or at the scaffold, she is an outcast (in darkness) to the Puritan ways and is seen as a sinner.
For Hester Prynne, there is more shadow and darkness than light in her life as seen in The Scarlet Letter. Hester feels like she has no light wit...


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...moment, will the soul of the sufferer be dissolved, and flow forth in a dark, but transparent stream, bring all its mysteries into the daylight.” (Hawthorne 92). Throughout the entire novel, Roger Chillingworth tries to bring into the light all of the secrets that Hester Prynne is keeping. The darkness within him eventually kills him.
In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, there is an abundant amount of references to the themes of shadow and light, or day and night. The themes of shadow and light can be seen in each of the main characters in the novel The Scarlet Letter. One can also see a resemblance in the themes of shadow and light in The Scarlet Letter in comparison to the novel The Adventures Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Shadow and light, from The Scarlet Letter, mirror the themes of nature to civilization in The Adventures Huckleberry Finn.

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