Through Hester’s own personal struggles with isolation and how it affects her outlook on life and the compassion she learns from the experience. And in addition, with other’s experience as well, such as Dimmesdale’s guilt and self-punishment. Alternatively, Hawthorne shows assumptions and strict moral values from the townspeople’s changing perspective on Hester and her scarlet letter, from a figure of shame and isolation to a brave and motherly figure. Above all Hawthorne shows both the good and the bad of Puritan society and its often misguided assumptions of character and rigid moral
Many people oppose society due to the surroundings that they face and the obstacles that they encounter. Set in the bleak winter landscape of New England, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton is the story of a poor, lonely man, his wife Zeena, and her cousin Mattie Silver. Ethan the protagonist in this novel, faces many challenges and fights to be with the one he really loves. Frome was trapped from the beginning ever since Mattie Silver came to live with him and his wife. He soon came to fall in love with her, and out of love with his own wife. He was basically trapped in the instances of his life, society’s affect on the relationship, love, poverty, illness, disability, and life.
Ethan Frome Ethan Frome, a novel by Edith Wharton, is set in the bleak Massachusetts town of Starkfield. Ethan Frome struggles to make a living as a farmer while his wife, Zeena, complains about her imaginary ailments. When Zeena’s cousin, Mattie, comes to live with the couple, Ethan and Mattie develop a growing friendship. This “friendship” arouses Zeena’s jealousy and so she evicts Mattie from the house. Ethan becomes furious as he realizes he has fallen in love with Mattie. As they are about to part, in despair, they attempt to end heir lives. Instead they are both left crippled and their original roles have changed for life. Caring for both, Ethan & Mattie and presiding over their wrecked lives, is Zeena. Edith Wharton emphasis her work with her individual style and technique. Wharton is very precise in her choice of words and uses situation irony to wrap the reader. Wharton structures the novel in a very easy to follow manner: by using chapters, cause & effect, relationships, and a great turning point.
Throughout The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne attempted to expose the varying ways in which different people deal with lingering guilt from sins they have perpetrated. The contrasting characters of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale ideally exemplified the differences in thought and behavior people have for guilt. Although they were both guilty of committing the same crime, these two individuals differed in that one punished themselves with physical and mental torture and the other chose to continue on with their life, devoting it to those less fortunate than they.
Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter to insinuate his stance on adultery and what it means for a child in a Puritan society; with those acts of sin, he, furthermore, shows how an individual can reconcile them through good-works, recognition, and admittance of guilt. Even through these, a person, like Hester, must also stand up against an oppressive society when need be and develop independent thought when shunned from those around
... differently towards sin and Hester proves reconciliation as the best response to wrongdoings. Through Hester, Hawthorne successfully conveys his theme that concealing a person's faults draws forth more evil than imaginable, but bearing the consequences leads to salvation. Indeed, life's difficult trials bring out the true essence of a person, and one must exhibit inner strength while facing their shame in order to survive these trials.
In the infamous work The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne recurrently implements symbols and hyperbole as he masterfully renders these elements onto the prominent members of his novel. Riddled with symbolism, Hawthorne’s novel highlights two methods of agonizing estrangement, isolation and alienation, depicting the cultural imprint of the Puritanical system within the historical context of the novel. The disdain for this societal construction is a subtle, yet palpable element represented throughout the novel as attentive readers detect incongruity between Hawthorne’s ideals and Puritanical paradigms. Hawthorne denotes the destructive tension Puritan notions and confinements place on humanity, both spiritual and physical, and this is especially displayed through the lives of Hester Prynne, Pearl, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth. I believe by liberally accentuating these forms of estrangement, Hawthorne intends to disclose the societal detriment of hypocritical Puritan ethics which in his perspective inherently result in the destruction of human souls.
Ethan Frome is the main character of Edith Wharton’s tragic novel. Ethan lives the bitterness of his youth’s lost opportunities, and dissatisfaction with his joyless life and empty marriage. Throughout the story Ethan is trapped by social limits and obligations to his wife. He lives an unhappy life with many responsibilities and little freedom. Ethan Frome studied science in college for a year and probably would have succeeded as an engineer or physicist had he not been summoned home to run the family farm and mill. Ethan quickly ended his schooling and went to run the family farm and mill because he feels it is his responsibility. He marries Zeena after the death of his mother, in an unsuccessful attempt to escape silence, isolation, and loneliness. Ethan also feels the responsibility to marry Zeena as a way to compensate her for giving up part of her life to nurse his mother. After marring Zeena he forgets his hope of every continuing his education and he is now forced to remain married to someone he does not truly love.
Without an honorable reputation a person is not worthy of respect from others in their society. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, the struggle to shake off the past is an underlying theme throughout the novel. Characters in this novel go through their lives struggling with trying to cope with the guilt and shame associated with actions that lost them their honorable reputation. Particularly, Hawthorne shows the lasting effect that sin and guilt has on two of the main characters in the book: Hester Prynne and Reverend Dimmesdale.
Perhaps Edith Wharton's reason for writing Ethan Frome, was that it so vividly reflected her own dreary life. Abandoned of any love as a child from her mother and trapped in a marriage similar to that of Zeena and Ethan, Wharton found herself relying on illicit love. This illicit love was also her favorite topic of writing, which helped her to escape her own tragedies. She spent many nights in the arms of other men searching desperately for the love she believed existed, but had never felt, which is evident in all of her writings.