Literary Criticism of The Scarlet Letter
E.P. Whipple- author of “Review of ‘The Scarlet Letter’, a Romance”- essentially describes Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter as a genius work of art by letting the reader see the near and far side of the spiritual laws, and praises Nathaniel Hawthorne for creating such an intensifying and objective novel. Whipple reminds us of the first part of the book when Nathaniel Hawthorne reminiscences about his times in the Old Custom House of Salem, Massachusetts and portrays to the reader a mental image and feeling of warmth, happiness and comfort. From the primary component of The Scarlet Letter the reader might believe that the remainder of the novel will exude feelings of warmth, happiness and comfort just as the primary section of it did. But as soon as the bit about Nathaniel Hawthorne’s life in the Old Custom House is over, the novel takes a drastic change from happiness into the bitter reality of sin and morbidity. Whipple states that the readers of The Scarlet Letter may be expecting a copious amount of details in emotion, but probably did not expect how deep into emotions and the themes of sin and morbidity that Nathaniel Hawthorne exuded in his novel. And according to Whipple the depth of the morbid aspect of The Scarlet Letter could possibly be the only downfall of the novel, if any at all. Whipple believes that Nathaniel Hawthorne tore out a piece of his heart and put it all into his efforts of writing The Scarlet Letter because of the depth of the emotion that the novel displays. Although the novel displays such depth in emotion, it’s a bad emotion, and it is “displeasing to the artistic appeal”. Even though the emotions are very deep and dark, they are what defines the novel, shows the moral purpose, lets the reader see eye to eye with the novel’s composer and goes against the French novels, which lay on seduction and adultery, and by doing so, Whipple believes that Nathaniel Hawthorne has created one of the...
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