Compare and contrast the writers’ presentation of tormented mind in Rebecca and Birthday letters. Rebecca, which is a bildungsroman novel and Birthday letters both have elements of tormented minds which are effectively caused by the darker side of love, memory, honesty and betrayal. ‘Rebecca’ looks into the faults of the class structure and upper class society. It shows the narrators inability to accept her new social class when marrying Maxim which adds to her torment. The narrator is told by Mrs Van Hopper she will never fit in at Manderly because of her social class, and tells her she is making a “big mistake" marrying Maxim and that she will "bitterly regret" it, this foreshows the struggle that she will face during her marriage with Maxim
Astell points out that the marriages with money but no love led to the horrific life of a depressed wife and a life of lust for the husband with other woman. William Congreve shows an audience in 1700 during the premier of the play The Way of the World that a poor marriage leads to unfaithful lust outside of the marriage and those strict rules when inheritance and society are concerned led women to marry men they otherwise would not. Also, marriages stay together when they should be separated or never married at all. Astell's ideas are also portrayed in Samuel Pepys's Diary. Pepys constantly cheats on his wife.
When her child Pearl was born, Hester's adulterous sin was discovered and she was cast out from their society and required to wear an embroidered “A” on her bosom in punishment. Hester felt guilt for her sin the rest of her life and sought repentance and absolution until the time she died. Hester never had true love for Chillingworth, but was tricked into marriage. She later told him this while speaking in her jail cell saying to him, “... thou knowest that I was frank with thee, I felt no love, nor feigned any” (Hawthorne, page #). Hester was betrayed, tricked and allowed herself to become caught up in the evil desires of another.
Hester at once beautiful had lost her beauty in the aftermath of her sin. “Even the attractiveness of her person had undergone a similar change.” (150)Hester decision to hide the fact that Chillingworth is her husband leads him to torture Dimmesdale.“ Your clutch is on his life , and you cause him to die daily a living death; and still he knows you not.” (156) Next, Dimmesdale concealment of his guilt makes him deceive others and himsel... ... middle of paper ... ... by developing himself, for seven years, to the constant analysis of a heart full of torture, and deriving his enjoyment thence, and adding fuel to those fiery tortures which he analyzed and gloated over. ( 155-56) His strength and energy withdrawing from him after the death of Dimmesdale, Chillingworth “ positively withered up, shriveled away and almost vanished from mortal sight. (236 The theme that deception and secrecy can be destructive was demonstrated through Hester Prynne, Dimmesdale and Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter. Hester Prynne ‘s secret of not telling Dimmesdale that Chillingworth was her husband made him torture Dimmesdale to his death.
According to Dante the poet, there are nine circles of Hell. The deeper we travel through Hell the higher the level of sin and the higher the level of punishment we see. Dante talks to various souls in hell and creates a sense of pity and questions God’s divine wisdom. These sinners are in Hell due to acts of of violence,to themselves other other people; or their sin of fraud, either by being a hypocrite or committing theft. In Dante Alighieri’s time fraud was considered the worst possible sin compared to today world where a vast majority will consider violence as the most horrific (Terr).
This mid-seventeenth century Boston society was automatically disgusted by the fact that Hester gave birth during her husband's absence. They wrongly accused her for not being loyal when she was actually forcefully raped. The novel describes this situation by saying, “She would become the general symbol at which the preacher and moralist might point, and in which they might vivify and embody their images of woman’s frailty and sinful passion” (Hawthorne 5.1). Men were unfairly perceived as the superior individuals and less pressure was on them. Women were seen as innately sinful and, therefore, have a tarnished image because of that.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, establishes his views towards women in many ways through his strong, passionate characters. Despite this clear incorporation, when does an author’s opinion become confused with reality? Hawthorne clearly presents the heroine of the novel, Hester Prynne, as a contradiction to the typical woman of the 1800’s. Hawthorne sees Hester as a strong woman and presents her actions and characteristics as righteous; however his opinion of a strong woman is flawed. Hester’s seemingly honorable actions can interpreted as unrighteous by a modern reader.
Sin is considered something highly immoral, a despicable act that defies divine law. Anyone who commits a sin is regarded as a serious offender of that which is pure. In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne left it to the reader to determine who was the real wrongdoer in the novel. Was it the adulterous Hester Prynne, or the hypocritical Arthur Dimmesdale, or the revenge obsessed Roger Chillingworth? Puritan belief tells us it should be Hester Prynne, because she was a weak-willed woman who broke the vow given to her husband and conceived a child with someone else.
Hannah Webster Foster's The Coquette Eliza Wharton has sinned. She has also seduced, deceived, loved, and been had. With The Coquette Hannah Webster Foster uses Eliza as an allegory, the archetype of a woman gone wrong. To a twentieth century reader Eliza's fate seems over-dramatized, pathetic, perhaps even silly. She loved a man but circumstance dissuaded their marriage and forced them to establish a guilt-laden, whirlwind of a tryst that destroyed both of their lives.
In fact Hawthorne writes that, “This unhappy man had made the very principle of his life to consist in the pursuit and systematic exercise of revenge…” (177). During Arthur’s death scene Roger has, “…a blank, dull, countenance, out of which life seemed to have departed” (Hawthorne 175). He also explains that, “…old Roger Chillingworth’s deceas... ... middle of paper ... ...nt as each of the men feel in their own hearts. While Dimmesdale’s extreme depression most likely causes his fatal disease, Chillingworth’s vengeful attitude towards Arthur mutates him into a gargoyle whose sole purpose is to frighten away any joy that may exist in Dimmesdale’s life. On the other hand, Hester emerges victorious in the denouement of the tale, counseling countless other hurting women and successfully raising a daughter, Pearl.