Essay on Deceitfulness in The Scarlet Letter and The Catcher in the Rye

Essay on Deceitfulness in The Scarlet Letter and The Catcher in the Rye

Length: 2014 words (5.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, both are books relating to the alienation of an individual wanting to fit into society. In the Scarlet Letter, the protagonists, Hester Prynne and Reverend Dimmesdale have committed adultery which is a sin unacceptable in the Puritan Society. Hester is married to Chillingworth, the strange doctor who is out for revenge. Pearl is born to Hester, as an outcome of their sin however Hester does not reveal who the father is. She is obligated to wear the letter “A” on her chest, as Dimmesdale lives through his life remaining silent. In the book, Hawthorne shows the interactions of these characters and the reaction of these characters to Hester’s sin. In The Catcher in the Rye, the protagonist Holden Caulfield is a teenager who is sick of the world. He gets kicked out of his school and roams the streets of New York for a couple of days before returning home where he meets new people. Holden finds out more about himself and how he relates to the world around him. He briefly enters what we believes is adulthood and becomes a “phony” himself. By the end of the story, Holden realized he doesn’t like the type of person he has become, so he turns back into a negative, judgmental person. The analysis of the main characters, Hester, Dimmesdale, Chillingworth, and Holden of The Scarlet Letter and The Catcher in the Rye show that they’re impostures and the main theme of the books’ is hypocrisy.
Hester Prynne, the woman in the Scarlet letter who commits adultery, is partly in responsible for the suffering and resulting hypocrisy in the story. From the start, it is shown that Hester is a strong woman; she faces the hardships that her sinfulness has caused. She...

... middle of paper ...

... The Catcher in the Rye." Hemingway Review 2.1 (1982): 70. EBSCO. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.
Buckner, Sally. "The Scarlet Letter." Masterplots. By Laurence W. Mazzeno. Fourth ed. Pasadena, CA: Salem, 2011. 1-4. EBSCO. Web. 2 Dec. 2011.
Harris, Kenneth Marc. "Hypocrisy and Self Deception in Hawthorne's Fiction." American Literature. Vol. 61. Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 1988. 294. EBSCO. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet letter. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1961. Book.
Pimple, Kenneth D. ""Subtle, but Remorseful Hypocrite": Dimmesdale's Moral Character."Studies in the Novel 22 Sept. 1993: 143. Print.
Privitera, Lisa. "Holden's Irony in Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye." Explicator. Issue 4 ed. Vol. 66. Taylor & Francis, 2008. 203-06. EBSCO. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.
Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston, MA: Little Brown &, 1945. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Symbolism And Its Significance Of The Scarlet Letter Essay

- Discuss Hawthorne’s use of symbolism and its significance to the theme of the novel The Scarlet Letter. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter a tale of sin and redemption was set in the seventeenth century in the New World Boston, Massachusetts. From this, Hawthorne was able to effectively illustrate the effects of Puritanism that was found there through his characters throughout the novel. This essay will be to show how Hawthorne’s characters are affected by religion through the use of symbolism as well as its implication to the theme of the novel....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Term Papers
1549 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on Feminism in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

- Written in 1850, The Scarlet Letter stood as a very progressive book. With new ideas about women, main characters’ stories intertwined, and many different themes, The Scarlet Letter remains today as a extremely popular novel about 17th century Boston, Massachusetts. Not only was the 19th century a time for the abolition of slavery movement but it was also the beginning of the first wave of feminism. Women such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott catalyzed the women’s rights movement....   [tags: the scarlet letter]

Term Papers
550 words (1.6 pages)

Hester 's Speech : The Scarlet Letter

- Hester’s Journey Many critics state that Salem’s community restricts Hester Prynne’s freedoms, but I believe that she has a limitless independence that can’t be revoked solely by the scarlet letter. Hawthorne introduces our protagonist early into the novel. Hester Prynne is a young woman who catches the eye of every man in the crowd. She is described as the pure essence of a beautiful woman. “The young woman was tall, with a figure of perfect elegance...She had dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam, and a face...beautiful from regularity of feature and richness of complexion…” (46)....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne]

Term Papers
1798 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on Pearl And The Scarlet Letter

- ... This further develops the link between Pearl and the scarlet letter (Sterling). Furthermore, this connection is seen in the book though Pearl’s obsession with the embroidered “A”. For instance, early on in her life the first object Pearl gave much attention to was the scarlet letter. This was noted in the The Scarlet Letter when Hawthorne said, “But that first object of which Pearl seemed aware of was - shall we say it?- the scarlet letter on Hester 's bosom!” (Hawthorne 88). This quote is one of several instances of Pearl’s strange obsession with the scarlet letter in her early childhood....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Term Papers
937 words (2.7 pages)

The Foolish Puritans of The Scarlet Letter Essay

- The Foolish Puritans of The Scarlet Letter "What is one man's poison is another's meat or drink," Beaumont and Fletcher wrote in one of their plays. Almost everything in the world is interpretable in at least two conflicting ways. In The Scarlet Letter, the Puritan society shuns a character named Pearl, yet the author, who lived in the Romantic period, views her with awe and reverence. Nathaniel Hawthorne's use of nature imagery in The Scarlet Letter reflects Pearl's wild, capricious character that serves as a constant reminder of Hester's sin and whose romantically idealistic beauty frightens the Puritan society....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
1782 words (5.1 pages)

The Significance of the Letter in The Scarlet Letter Essay

- The Scarlet Letter: The Significance of the Letter             Adultery has been around almost as long as people. It has maintained a harsh punishment, from banishment to death, but in the Puritan world of colonial America (from about 1620-1640), its punishment may have been worse than either. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is a lonely Puritan woman who commits infidelity with a preacher and has a son from the untruthful union. To punish her for this act, the council of leaders forces her to wear a large “A” on her bosom, to let all know what she has done....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Term Papers
1821 words (5.2 pages)

Symbols and Symbolism - The Letter A in The Scarlet Letter Essay

- The Symbolism of the Letter in The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter includes many profound and important symbols. This device of symbolism is portrayed well in the novel, especially through the scarlet letter "A". The "A" is the best example because of the changes in the meaning throughout the novel. In the beginning of the novel, the scarlet letter "A" is viewed as a symbol of sin. The middle of the novel is a transition period, where the scarlet letter "A" is viewed differently....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
1531 words (4.4 pages)

Essay Metamorphosis of the Letter A in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

- The Metamorphosis of “A” in The Scarlet Letter Six Works Cited In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the meaning of the letter "A" changes throughout the novel. This change is significant as it indicates the personal growth of the characters as well as the enlightenment of the townspeople. When the novel begins, the letter "A" is a symbol of sin. As the story progresses the “A” slowly transforms to a symbol of Hester’s strength and ability. By the end of the novel, the letter “A” has undergone a complete metamorphisis and represents the respect that Hester has for herself....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
796 words (2.3 pages)

Symbols and Symbolism - The Letter A in The Scarlet Letter Essay

- Symbolism of the Scarlet Letter           Authors sometimes use symbols in their novels to represent different objects, people or ideas.  One example is the S on Superman's uniform, which symbolizes him being supper.  In "The Scarlet Letter" Nathaniel Hawthorne creates the symbolism of the letter "A" to have different meanings.  As the novel unfolds, the meanings of the letter "A" on Hester Prynne's bosom changes, from adultery to able to angel.           In the beginning of the novel, Hawthorne describes the letter "A" that lies on Hester's bosom as a symbol of adultery.  Hester is made to wear the letter "A" once the town's people see, that she committed adultery...   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
621 words (1.8 pages)

The Scarlet Letter - The Letter of a Thousand Words Essays

- The Scarlet Letter - The Letter of a Thousand Words The Scarlet Letter deals with the theme of sin. Throughout history, people have committed all types of sins, and whether they are major or minor, people have been punished. However the severity of a punishment is very difficult to agree on. Some people feel that sinners should be deeply punished no matter how little the wrongdoing was. Others feel that a person's punishment should be based upon the severity of their crime. What many people overlook is the fact that in time, we all have committed sins....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Free Essays
826 words (2.4 pages)