Romanticism in the Scarlet Letter

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Romanticism in the Scarlet Letter

By | October 2006
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"Look at the world through rose-colored glasses"

That quote is probably the essence of romanticism. In the modern world, romance pertains to a night at the movies and dinner, the classic "you can't have him, he's mine!", and hoping that she'll find that engagement ring in the cake while she's eating it. In The Scarlet letter, however, applies to two separated lovers, hidden identities, and reminiscing on the bad times, but with hope and confidence.

Innate deformation, genius abilities, and a need for vengeance- it could only be one man- Roger Chillingworth. He finally came back to Salem to find his wife, Hester Prynne on a scaffold. When asking around, to his dismay he realizes his wife has committed adultery. Surprisingly though, he does not want to harm Hester or the symbol of adultery, pearl, but he does however, seek revenge on the man who his wife committed adultery with. To do his job properly, he asks Hester not to reveal his true identity, keeping Dimmesdale and the rest of the town in the dark about who he really is. As a physician he goes into Dimmesdale's home and eventually his suspicion becomes reality when he finds out Dimmesdale is the coward who can't step up and accept pearl as his own. He uses this information to his advantage by torturing Dimmesdale emotionally and maybe even physically. The secret identity of not only Chillingworth, but Dimmesdale as well really adds to the romantic mood of The Scarlet Letter. Because of the hidden identities- more conflicts occur- for example, Chillingworth is using his secret identity to hurt Dimmesdale, emotionally, and Hester starts contemplating whether she should inform Dimmesdale of the secret. It also adds to the irony because Dimmesdale and Chillingworth are living together, yet both are hiding their true identity- and both are connected to Hester.

After 7 long years of cruel defamation, in chapter 7, Hester realizes that she came out of it a stronger woman; she realized that other women are...
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