Deceit, Despair and Dejection in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and Anderson's Speak

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A human being is subject to feelings that range from happiness to depression to indifferent. Whenever an author captures even some of the emotions that a person goes through, the author has made the characters realistic. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson are two perfect examples of authors who master the art of capturing feelings within the characters. Both books display instances where the characters are subject to the feelings of deceit, despair, and dejection; therefore, the characters seem as though they were alive and breathing. In The Scarlet Letter, the main characters Hester Prynne, Roger Chillingworth, and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale are tangled in a web of deceit, which is the result of a sin as deadly as the Grimm Reaper himself: adultery. Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of The Scarlet Letter, describes the feeling of deceit using the main characters; for each of the cast the reaction to the deceit is different, thus the reader realizes the way a person reacts to a feeling differs between each character. For example, Roger Chillingworth desperately tried to find out who committed the act of adultery with his wife Hester Prynne and explained what his response will be: “… the man lives who has wronged us both! Who is he? ... I shall see him tremble … Sooner or later, he must … be mine!” (Hawthorne 27-28).Chillingworth’s feeling of deceit and the reaction is the polar opposite of the reaction from Hester Prynne. Hester Prynne wanted to be noticed by Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, her secret lover; she did not want to harm the Reverend. Unlike Chillingworth, Hester’s feeling of deceit is caused when Dimmesdale refused to tell the truth or recognize her. Even though Hester never ... ... middle of paper ... ...lth declined. Unlike Prynne, Melinda is not indifferent to her fellow companion; instead, she is silent with thoughts and opinions of her companions. Anderson used Melinda’s reactions to the dejection and how deceit, despair, and dejection coincide to allow the readers feel as though Melinda was sitting next to them in class or walking pass them in the store. Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, Roger Chillingworth, and Melinda are the people of the world with the feelings of deceit, despair, and dejection associated with their faults, troubles, and passion. Hawthorne and Anderson mastered in ensnaring the feelings of deceit, despair, and dejection and writing the feelings into their extraordinary characters. Both authors succeed in creating these characters in such a way that the readers will most likely meet a Hester, Arthur, Roger, or a Melinda in their lifetime.

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