Puritianism and Literary Techniques in "The Scarlet Letter" Essay

Puritianism and Literary Techniques in "The Scarlet Letter" Essay

Length: 2809 words (8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

"Nathaniel Hawthorne has made a beautiful, admirable, extraordinary approach in this novel" said Henry James regarding The Scarlet Letter. It has the beauty and harmony of all original and complete conceptions and its weaker spots are not of its essence, but mere light flaws and inequalities of surface. The novel has the inexhaustible charm and mystery of great works of art. It has a high style of polish as well as a charming freshness. Hawthorne has cultivated with great industry his natural sense of language, his turn for saying things lightly in touchy mood, picturesquely yet simply, and for infusing a gently colloquial tone into matter of the most unfamiliar import. The Scarlet Letter deals with different aspects, which are portrayed in the novel directly or indirectly. It is a psychological romance with the tragic incidents of crime and punishment. Hawthorne also made symbolic approaches using ambiguous language and irony. The puritan society of this novel is a matter of consideration also. This novel is capable of being interpreted in various ways.

Published in 1850, The Scarlet Letter was well received and became very popular. The first edition of 2500 copies was sold out within three days, and was followed by the second and a third edition during the following six months. Since then the book has never been out of print. It has always been a favorite book both with readers and critics. Man of the early readers and critics find the book too gloomy and somber but they were pleased that here finally was a work by an American author that could stand with the best thing produced in England. The neatness of its organized structure has attracted the attention of a large number of readers and critics. The book has been found us...


... middle of paper ...


...s writing and in his works at the custom house he has attempted to be a good citizens of his society, now, he is writing a book what gives voice to a deep rejection and defiance of social regulations. The exposition of the novel, though dramatic, has a classical obviousness; there is no trace of obscurity in any of the characters and relationships. It has the art of saying things well and it is very positively tested. Hawthorne treats of those matters among which it is very easy for a blundering writer to go wrong-the subtleties and mysteries of life, the moral and spiritual maze.

Bibliography

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Penguin Classics: Ohio State University Press, 1962

James, Henry. Hawthorne. (English Men of Letters Series) London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 1879

Doren, C. V. The American Novel. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1952.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

- Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is, at times, a piece that seems intended to drive one beyond any hope of reasoning. Its occasionally overpowering allegorical symbolism or its seemingly eclectic mythology can certainly seem like a purist allegory designed to imbue in one the fear of eternal sin. However, when one takes the time to read beyond the simple story and to realize the true nature of Hawthorne's verbal artistry, it becomes clear that the piece is, as stated by Richard Chase, “a novel with beautifully assimilated allegorical elements” (149)....   [tags: Literary Techniques, Book Critique]

Powerful Essays
1374 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Pearl: A Symbol of Evil in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

- Pearl: A Symbol of Evil. From the first time we hear of Pearl, Hawthorne uses her as a symbol of Hester’s sin. He not only uses her to remind Hester of what she did, but also as what she could never be. He uses many different references in the book pertaining to Hester’s plight, most of which involve Pearl. So is Pearl a symbol of evil. The very first time Hawthorne uses Pearl as a symbol is when he is talking about the one thing that attracts her attention. “The infants’ eyes had been caught by the glimmering of the gold embroidery about the letter.” (79) The scarlet letter “A” is a beautiful sight to Pearl....   [tags: literary techniques, literary criticism]

Powerful Essays
1091 words (3.1 pages)

Imagery and Irony in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essays

- Imagery and Irony in The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of The Scarlet Letter, uses a variety of literary techniques in order to produce energy and invoke the interest of the reader. He creates the mood and the climax of the novel by using the techniques of imagery and irony. Yet, it is his use of symbolism that truly carries the novel. An abundance of symbolism appears in many different forms, adding interest to the novel. For instance, Hawthorne uses his characters, such as Pearl, as symbols; “It was the scarlet letter in another form, the scarlet letter endowed with life.” (Ch....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Powerful Essays
906 words (2.6 pages)

The Scarlet Letter By Roger Chillingworth Essay

- Trey Hill David Camp AP English 11 Date: 10/10/15 The Scarlet Letter: Roger Chillingworth In the literary classic, The Scarlet Letter, readers follow the story of a Puritan New England colony and the characteristics of that time period. Readers begin to grasp concepts such as repentance and dealing with sin through Nathaniel Hawthorne’s indirect descriptions of these detailed and complex characters by their actions and reactions. The character Roger Chillingworth symbolizes sin itself and deals with internal conflict throughout the course of the story....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Powerful Essays
1114 words (3.2 pages)

Symbols and Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

- Symbolism  in The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne isn't noted for perfecting any famous literary style, for writing multiple best sellers, or even for contributing largely to classic American literature.  His only real claim to fame is The Scarlet Letter: a novel that was originally only meant to be yet another Hawthorne short story.  Because of this, it actually possesses many short story characteristics.  "It is simpler and more complete than his other novels." (James 285)  It also has an excellent plot backed by an expert use of literary techniques.  One technique Hawthorne used was borrowed solely from drama: the use of the aside.  Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale delivers an aside in the...   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Powerful Essays
1172 words (3.3 pages)

Struggle between Good and Evil in The Scarlet Letter and Macbeth Essay

- Struggle between Good and Evil in The Scarlet Letter and Macbeth It is said that “all conflict in literature is, in its simplest form, a struggle between good and evil.” Indeed, the fundamental conflict of human nature is that of darkness and light; and as a mirror to life, the conflicts in literature is not different from those in human nature. The struggle of good and evil is shown in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, which portrays the spiritual battle between and evil man and a sinned minister, as well as the minister’s internal turmoil....   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]

Powerful Essays
689 words (2 pages)

Essay on Symbolism Of The Yellow Tree By Nathaniel Hawthorne

- Hawthorne further employs amazing literary techniques in his novel through the use of motifs, developed by symbols within the book. One of these motifs developed through symbolism is the motif of harsh Puritan punishment. This is first seen near the jail cell in which Hester was being detained for some time prior to the start of the novel. The entryway to the prison, an “… iron-clamped oaken door…” is a symbol used to develop this motif (43). The symbol lies in the word “oaken”, which, as stated previously, the oak tree a strong symbol for the Puritans and their practices....   [tags: Puritan, The Scarlet Letter, John Winthrop]

Powerful Essays
961 words (2.7 pages)

Scarlet Critique Essay

- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne was written in 1850. It was based on the Puritans of the 1600's, which were revived in Hawthorne's era. Hawthorne descended from Puritan heritage and harbored a sense of guilt and hatred for their way of life. He used many themes and literary techniques in The Scarlet Letter including symbolism and irony. He emphasized the individual's role in the community and the role of women in society. Hawthorne used romanticism as opposed to the classical correctness of writing....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Powerful Essays
855 words (2.4 pages)

The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essays

- Throughout the course of history, the concept of women being subordinate to men has always existed. However, in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, a woman named Hester Prynne tries to break prejudicial notions against women in a patriarchal society. In the story, Hester commits the crime of adultery and is sentenced by the government to wear a scarlet letter as it symbolizes ignominy. Since she lives in Puritan New England, the people do not value women a lot, her actions becomes a sight of public scrutiny....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Powerful Essays
2438 words (7 pages)

The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- A multitude of literary works possess much more information than an initial review reveals which is no accident on the author’s part. One author who epitomizes this method of writing is Nathaniel Hawthorne and his book The Scarlet Letter. Following a thorough review of the book, the underpinnings of literary elements reveal the way in which he incorporates his dynamic tone throughout the story, and, with extensive research, conclusions can be made as to why he wrote the novel. Exploring the latter topic allows analysts of all kind gain further insight on his character and its relation to the books content....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter]

Powerful Essays
1492 words (4.3 pages)