At the beginning, the letter is supposed to represent Hester’s guilt or shame for committing adultery, though Hester wears it proudly. Later on in the book, however, it represents something completely different. That same letter “A” on her breast represents her able or angelic nature, instead of her sin in the past. The second letter “A”, seen in the sky, represents not only Dimmesdale’s cowardice and shame, but the fact that the townspeople make up meanings for occurrences to mean what the townspeople want them to mean. According to Nina Baym, “Dimmesdale knows that if his deed is discovered, he will be thrown out of what is, to him, Heaven...” (215).
In the process of writing The Scarlet Letter, he uncovered his unnaturally close and dependent relationship to his mother from which his sense of guilt originally derived. Since he did not want this sense of guilt to be revealed to the reader, he added “The Customhouse” to shift the focus of the origin of his guilt onto his ancestors. According to Hawthorne, “The Customhouse” was written to increase the overall length of The Scarlet Letter. Loving however, claims “The Customhouse” to be a cover-up for Hawthorne's deep identity crisis: " He desperately needed a beginning (...) that would save him from the self he had revealed in the true text" (Loving, p.
Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand, explores various levels of lying. For example, Cyrano signs a letter to his love saying, “Your Friend-who loves you… So, no signature” (II.100-101). Cyrano is reluctant to sign a letter he wrote to Roxanne, his love, so he lies about who wrote the letter. Cyrano’s overconfidence is nullified when he is too nervous to sign his own name to a letter. His lying also reveals a weakness in ourselves, showing how people lie to avoid humiliation and cower down.
Her husband under the pseudo name Roger Chillingworth vows to find Hester’s lover, who the readers later find out to be Arthur Dimmesdale, the town religious leader. When analyzing the novel one finds a vast difference between exposed sin, and hidden sin. Hester Prynne’s exposed sin is her adultery. She is punished not by death or jail time but by public humiliation. Hester was ordered by the town authority to wear “the ignominious letter on her breast…” (Hawthorne 52).
An Essential fact to note is that The Scarlet Letter is a satire of the Puritan religion rather than a tragedy. Even though Dimmesdale acknowledges the fact that keeping his sin a secret devours his soul, he doesn’t reveal it until his death at the end of the novel. Dimmesdale’s reluctance to confess to adultery and stain his image represents his inability to overcome his sin. He is unable to elevate his mind above the norms of society unlike Hester. In the end of the novel the crowd perceiving Arthur Dimmesdale’s confession differently is a way Hawthorne relays the foolishness of Puritan society.
It becomes apparent that Elizabeth knows of her husband’s unfaithfulness when she asks, “John, if it were not Abigail that you must go to hurt, would you falter now? I think not” (Miller 54). Elizabeth is obviously aware of her husband’s disloyalty but even if it pains two people to stay married, they will not get a divorce, because that is against Puritan beliefs. Although, adultery is also against Puritan beliefs, but that doesn’t stop some sinners. These affairs are often discovered because Puritans so strongly believe in... ... middle of paper ... ...s sin secret and continue to be seen as a perfect sinless Puritan.
Arthur Dimmesdale's soul was jeopardized by Roger Chillingworth's intentions, which were to ruin him, but his only messiah, is Pearl. Dimmesdale must embrace Pearl as his daughter and publicly confess to be free from his self-inflicted torture. Arthur Dimmesdale's soul was placed in jeopardy since we first saw him. He foreshadowed to Hester Prynne about what the effect of her silence would do to him. He said, ';What can thy silence do for him, except it tempt him — yea, compel him, as it were — to add hypocrisy to sin?….
The words penance and penitence are often associated together, and even sound similar, but it does not mean they have the same meaning. Penance is a punishment for a sin- a physical act showing repentance, but penitence is the feeling of sorrow for committing a sin. Therefore, it is possible to commit an oct of penance, but not truly feel penitence. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the main character, Hester Prynne is forced by her Puritan community to wear a lavishly decorated scarlet colored “A”, which stands for adulterer. It was her punishment for committing adultery, getting pregnant and having an illegitimate child with an unknown father, whilst married to another man.
It could be that mentioning the devil's name as it appears in the Bible is just a coincidence. On the other hand, it could be speculated that, through the power of the devil and Pearl's presence, something major might occur. This conjecture is the m... ... middle of paper ... ...l Hawthorne's rhetorical strategies are of great importance to the novel. While some strategies are used to emphasize a certain event, others are meant to foreshadow one. His rhetorical strategies help to illustrate a unification and connection between occasions, which, when standing alone, may not seem as significant to the reader.
Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter enables the reader to understand complex ideas more clearly. Beginning with the title of the book itself, Nathaniel Hawthorne weaves various symbols throughout the novel. The same symbol can mean different things to different people because symbols are subject to the interpretation of the reader. Nathaniel Hawthorne used symbolism to clarify the overall meaning of The Scarlet Letter. Works Cited Baym, Nina.