Scarlett letter analysis
The novel the Scarlett letter is one with many themes and motifs. A major motif is light vs. dark, this can even be carried on to the characters of the novel and their essence. Hester Prynn can be viewed as the novel’s light in an intolerant society; meanwhile Rodger Chillingworth is portrayed as a dark character that is fueled by a sick yearning for retribution. Hawthorn uses these stark differences to portray the multiplicity that is found in the human condition. Although these two were married, they are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to even the most basic forms of innate nature. The most honorable and heroic character in the novel would have to be Hester Prynne in my opinion. This woman does not start out extraordinary but becomes an admirable character through her strife. We are not given much insight on Hester Prynne’s former life, but it is evident that her resilience and honesty has been a part of her all along. Ironically the scarlet letter brings out these admirable qualities of her character as opposed to bringing her down and degrading her internally. She overcomes public humiliation with grace and calmness, and accepts her punishment alone. This is also a major testament on her strong character, her ability to face this calamity alone. She willingly refrains from dragging Dimmesdale into it although by doing so it will lessen the burden on her end; after all he is just as morally responsible as she. Hester lives her life in isolation from society and only has her daughter pearl for companionship. This isolation however is not her downfall; it actually shapes who she becomes. Hester begins to question the human condition, the society in which she lived, and morality. She spends much of her time in solitude thinking and removing the barriers the strict puritan society has enforced on her thoughts. An important thing to note is the narrator’s tone seems to indicate an admiration for...
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