The Scarlet Letter - The Letter of a Thousand Words

The Scarlet Letter - The Letter of a Thousand Words

Length: 826 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

The Scarlet Letter - The Letter of a Thousand Words


The Scarlet Letter deals with the theme of sin. Throughout history, people have committed all types of sins, and whether they are major or minor, people have been punished. However the severity of a punishment is very difficult to agree on. Some people feel that sinners should be deeply punished no matter how little the wrongdoing was. Others feel that a person's punishment should be based upon the severity of their crime. What many people overlook is the fact that in time, we all have committed sins. That is the case with the three main characters from the Scarlet Letter. Even though they were all different on the outside, inside they all shared a certain feeling of sin and guilt. So when I think of Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth, I think heavily upon the feelings that they all shared together, which were sin and guilt.


This novel was brought about from one mistake that a young, beautiful woman made. Here she was sent over to Boston without her husband, and many years later still hasn't shown up. She doesn't know if he is alive or died at sea. In the meantime, she got acquainted with Reverend Dimmesdale. Between the two of them, Hester bears a child and that child is the living proof, and a constant reminder that Hester has committed a sin. So the townspeople made Hester wear the letter A on her chest and made her stand on a scaffold in front of the town to display her shame. So everywhere she went she had to carry that guilt with her. In the meantime Chillingworth shows up and demands to know whom the father of Pearl is. Hester will not tell him so he constantly batters her but Hester keeps her strength and refuses each time. Which isn't so easy because she has to face him everyday.


Dimmesdale is most likely the worst sinner of all. His sin was that he was Hester's partner, which was Pearls father. Since he was a coward, he didn't have the guts to admit it to the public. He didn't want to lose the public's trust and his popularity that he had from his congregation.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Scarlet Letter - The Letter of a Thousand Words." 24 Aug 2019

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Heroine Of Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter Essay

- Hester Prynne is the heroine of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, where she proves to be an incendiary figure in her community, as the presence of the A on her garment is an incessant reminder of her transgression. A strict, religious community does not tolerate the transgression that is Hester’s sin. A fellow villager states “Marry, good Sir, in some two years, or less…no tiding have come of this learned gentleman, Master Prynne; and his young wife, look you, being left to her own misguidance…” (485)....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, Puritan]

Research Papers
1569 words (4.5 pages)

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words Essay

- A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a British novelist, “born on May 22nd, 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland; died of a heart attack, July 7, 1930, in Crowborough, Sussex, England” (Ake 1). His family was Catholic and labeled as middle-class. People say Doyle was not a great writer. However, he created the most famous character in the history of fiction, Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is a mischievous man who plays the role of a detective and a deerstalker. People from all cultures across the globe recognize the fictional name of Sherlock Holmes....   [tags: Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle]

Research Papers
889 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

- Symbolism can be defined as a figure, character, or object that is used to represent complex or abstract ideas. By expressing an idea in the form of an image, the reader can visualize the concept more concretely. The old expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” applies to symbolism as the author creates a visual representation of ideas. The use of symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter helps to illuminate the overall meaning of the work. At the beginning of the book, the reader is introduced to a dark and gloomy town that had first built a prison and a cemetery....   [tags: Literacy Analysis ]

Research Papers
1238 words (3.5 pages)

Pornographic Theme in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

- The Scarlet Letter: The Pornographic Theme Why has the author of The Scarlet Letter selected such a theme. Why, amid all the suggestive incidents of life in a wilderness; of a retreat from civilization to which, in every individual case, a thousand circumstances must have concurred to reconcile human nature with estrangement from home and country; or amid the historical connections of our history with Jesuit adventure, savage invasion, regicide outlawry, and French aggression, should the taste of Mr....   [tags: free essay writer]

Free Essays
949 words (2.7 pages)

Scarlet Letter Essay

- Controversy between Money and Love as shown in “The Rocking-Horse Winner” The Rocking-Horse Winner is couched in the symbols of the ancient myths. The mother is poor, unsatisfied fairy princess who yearns for happiness; Paul is the gallant knight on horse-back who rides to her rescue (Junkins 261). The mythical aspect of the story is evident in the style and symbols. In the opening lines, the first seven words have a fable-like quality reminiscent of any number of fairy princess tales, yet the word advantages locates us in the atmosphere of the modern world, so does the word luck (Junkins 261)....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
877 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Summary Of ' The Scarlet Letter '

- Troy Okamoto AP English Mr. Kam September 12, 2014 The Scarlet Letter Book Report My reaction to The Scarlet Letter can only be summed up in one word: empathy. The amount of shame and struggles that Hester Prynne experienced was surreal, and she has witnessed such unimaginative events. Hester, wearing the "A" of shame, doesn 't reveal the name of the father, which drives her into embarrassment. Hester is not only shameful but also corrupt, for she invests herself to the lover of her child. The struggles that Hester faces with her daughter after she returns home is poignant, and the story ends in such a solitude way that one would sympathize with her....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter]

Research Papers
1252 words (3.6 pages)

The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- When the fate of the scarlet letter encompasses the beholder, it transforms their souls into the symbolic image of Yin VS. Yang. A common Chinese symbol that displays good vs. evil. As the essence of good (Yang) exists through charitable acts, and those who live life with an open heart. Whereas, the power, and the darker side of the light (Yin) comes through as being hidden from society, and relating symbols in life to the underworld. Two opposite sides of the spectrum clashing against one another to coincide....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
1437 words (4.1 pages)

The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- 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....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
1538 words (4.4 pages)

The Significance of the Letter in The Scarlet Letter Essay

- The Scarlet Letter: The Significance of the Letter             Adultery has been around almost as long as people. It has maintained a harsh punishment, from banishment to death, but in the Puritan world of colonial America (from about 1620-1640), its punishment may have been worse than either. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is a lonely Puritan woman who commits infidelity with a preacher and has a son from the untruthful union. To punish her for this act, the council of leaders forces her to wear a large “A” on her bosom, to let all know what she has done....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Research Papers
1821 words (5.2 pages)

The Scarlet Letter and the Egg-carton Essay

- The Scarlet Letter and the Egg-carton An analogy between two subjects can often lead to a better understanding of one or more of the topics. This point can be displayed by a comparison between the classic novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, and a normal egg-carton. An analogy can be made between the concealment of secrets in the novel and the concealment of the eggs by a closed egg-container. Also, a correlation can be made between the revealing of secrets by the characters in The Scarlet Letter and the revealing of the many eggs by an open egg-carton....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Research Papers
984 words (2.8 pages)

Related Searches

So he lived a life of lies, sins, and dishonesty. When Chillingworth found out that Dimmesdale was the father, he wanted to torture Dimmesdale till he couldn't take it anymore. Because of this Dimmesdale became weaker and weaker, and the only medicine would be to tell his big secret. Whenever he tried to tell his congregation that he had sinned, they just loved him even more. They felt he was the best, and this put tremendous pressure and guilt on Dimmesdale to the point that he couldn't take it anymore.


Roger Chillingworth on the other hand wasn't involved like how Hester and Dimmesdale were, but the way he seeked revenge was just as bad. He battered and harassed Hester to tell him who the father of the child was. Since she wouldn't tell him, he made his whole life about getting vengeance. When he found out that Dimmesdale had a big secret he put two and two together and figured out that Dimmesdale was the father. So he tortured Dimmesdale to make his life seem horrible and unbearable to live. His acts toward Dimmesdale turned him into the black devil. He really didn't feel much guilt for anything or anyone except for the fact that he knew that Hester didn't do this alone. That she was the only one taking the blame for this ordeal.


The characters helped develop this theme by tormenting each other and never letting them forget about the sin they committed, which then drives them into further isolation. Hester by the end of this novel tries to set things right. She becomes a highly respected person in a Puritan society by overcoming a constant reminder of her sin. She admitted her crime and resolved it over time through her charity work. While Arthur Dimmesdale bottles up his sins and tortures himself. His failure to admit his crime slowly destroyed his life, even though he was given numerous opportunities to do so. Chillingworth's heart was filled with so much hatred that the devil practically took over his life. He tried to stop Dimmesdale at his last breath from admitting his sin. Evidently he didn't make it on time. The decision of the characters to either admit or hide the absolute truths in their lives determined the quality of their lives. The guilty in this world will always have a choice, no matter how difficult it is. They can take Hester's route that means to admit their sins and strive the rest of their lives to gain forgiveness. Or they could take Dimmesdale's route that means to repress their sins and forever live with that awful feeling at the bottom of your stomach that the guilty have.
Return to