Central Theme in the Scarlett Letter

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  • Topic: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Osama bin Laden
  • Pages : 2 (786 words )
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  • Published : February 10, 2010
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Good Vs. Evil

Throughout history, many references have been made to the battle that rages on between good and evil. In the bible we are shown good in the form of God and evil in the form of the devil. In everyday life we are shown examples of good in people such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Mother Theresa. But with that said, we are also shown examples of evil as well in people such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Osama Bin Laden. When talking about books and novels, the majority of them feature some type of story depicting good versus evil and The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is no different. Throughout the novel, the reader is engaged in a story that is engulfed in a theme featuring good versus evil. From Hester's character to the character of Chillingworth, almost everyone in this story is shown to be on either the side of good or evil. It even comes down to the setting being used as symbolism, such as in the case of the jail which was used to symbolize the evil of the society of Pagans. But out of all of these examples, the most imposing of symbols used in the story is that of the light, which is constantly at odds with the evil that it touches. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses sunlight to represent good which is made evident in the way it effects the evil it touches, the way that it shows Hester's development form bad to good, and in the way it reveals the evil.

In The Scarlet Letter, as well as in many other stories, light seems to always harm or hurt evil things in some way. An example would be in the case of the vampire tales, which show the vampire as being weak to light. One example of such an effect happening is in the beginning of the novel when Hester comes out of the jail with her daughter, Pearl, and her daughter seems to be harmed by the light since all she's been exposed to is the evil of the world "She bore in her arms a child, a baby of some three months old, who winked and turned aside its...
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