The Scarlet Letter. Nathaniel Hawthorne's Purpose

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The Scarlet Letter is a romance written by Nathaniel Hawthorne that takes place in the Puritan Community in Boston, Massachusetts during the 17th century. It tells the story of Hester Prynne, who commits the sin of adultery with the minister of the church, Reverend Dimmesdale, and conceives a baby girl, Pearl. Hester's husband, Roger Chillingworth, returns and seeks revenge. As Pearl grows up, her mother learns how to deal with the scarlet letter of shame and Dimmesdale feels guilt. When they decide to run away, Dimmesdale confesses his sin in public and he dies. The story end with the death of Chillingworth and all his belongings and property go to little Pearl. Pearl grows up and probably gets married and Hester becomes a mother for all women in need.

Throughout the novel, Hawthorne discusses the themes of sin, guilt, and how society affects the shaping of an individual's character. He addresses the issue of hypocrisy and how hidden guilt can affect someone. He also portrays the nature of evil in human form. Purity, honesty, and joyfulness are symbolized by little Pearl. He wrote this romance to express himself and show the oppression of the society and the community in which he lived in. Hester's struggle against society is similar to his own. Both, he and Hester, resist Puritan values and beliefs. The society Hawthorne lived in discouraged him and stopped him from pursuing his passion in writing, but he still continues to write. His novel shows the inner conflicts of individuals, the conflicts between them and society, and discloses the truth of the human heart.

The story discusses a sin, which is adultery, and how viewing it differs from society and the sinner. Society views Hester's sin as shameful and disgraceful. Th...

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...stions about the scarlet letter have a huge role I the reader's interpretation of its meaning.

Hawthorne was a talented and skilled writer, who was greatly influenced by the the community in which he lived. Instead of giving in to society dashing his hopes of becoming a successful writer, he wrote about Hester to express himself and explain his conflicts with the crooked, oppressive society and beliefs of the time. He discusses the problems in a way that every reader can relate to and sympathize with the characters. He skillfully transforms a symbol of shame and sin into a symbol of maternity and nurturance. The Scarlet Letter is truly a symbol of believing in people's capabilities. It is a symbol of resistance to society if all it causes people to do is reject their identities and who they really are.

Works Cited

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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