Essay about The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Essay about The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The Puritan society was extremely restricting. They had strict laws and rules, and harsh punishments for even the smallest of misdemeanors. They lived with only the bare necessities and discouraged uniqueness or boldness. As a Romantic writer, with beliefs the complete opposite of the Puritans, Nathaniel Hawthorne was very critical of the Puritan’s strict society. In the allegorical novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the characters of Hester Prynne, Reverend Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth order to convey the central moral of rejecting societal ideals and acting upon one 's own desires and emotions.
Hester Prynne helps show the moral of acting upon what one truly wants by accepting her punishment and making it into a positive experience. Hester committed the sin of adultery and was forced to wear a scarlet A on her chest so that “the young and pure would be taught to look at her, with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast—at her, the child of honorable parents—at her, the mother of a babe, that would hereafter be a woman, at her, who had once been innocent—as the figure, the body, the reality of sin" (52). To Hester and the townspeople, the scarlet letter represents her sin, her punishment, and her detachment from the town and society 's valuesl however, at the end of the novel, it is a liberating symbol. It represents everything that Hester has gone through, and everything she has learned from it. Being familiar with sin enabled Hester to wander “without rule or guidance, in a moral wilderness; as vast, as intricate and shadowy, as the untamed forest, amid the gloom of which they were now holding a colloquy that was to decide their fate" (134). The scarlet letter also represents Hester 's transcendence of ...


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...ough those characters, Nathaniel Hawthorne is able to show the central moral of the novel, one of rejecting the strict Puritan morals in order to be true to one’s own desires and emotions. By the end of the novel, both Hester and Dimmesdale were able to free themselves from their sins, follow their own wishes, and be honest with themselves. However, Chillingworth clung to the Puritan values until his abrupt ending, which showed the other end of the spectrum. As a Romantic-era writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne was an advocate of following one’s heart and being wild and free. Therefore, adultery would not be a sin in a Romantic’s eyes, as it is just two people following what they truly desire. However, the Puritans viewed adultery as one of the worst sins, and they strove to be completely sin-free. Romanticism and Puritanism clash in the allegorical novel The Scarlet Letter.

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