Struggles of Frankenstein and the Scarlet Letter

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Shelby Kane
Dr. Mulholland
College Literature
February 21, 2012
Life Struggles in The Scarlet Letter and Frankenstein
If you read a lot of classic literature, you can usually see multiple similarities in them. Whether the plots or themes are alike, they convey similar messages. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, there are very similar life struggles that the characters go through. The main characters of each novel; Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, Victor Frankenstein, and the Frankenstein monster are all judged by society and have guilty consciences after committing some crime. Even though the characters are very different from each other, they go through similar experiences that leave them with similar emotions. They each have their own story that was told to show people how difficult their lives really were. If these stories and struggles are looked at together, the similarities between them are clearly seen.

The main character in The Scarlet Letter is Hester Prynne. The novel is about her crime of adultery which resulted in a daughter named Pearl. Because of this crime, there were many conflicts and issues that happened. The main struggle that occurred with Hester’s crime was how the public viewed her. As soon as the village found out about her, they shunned her from society. They put her in jail until she could be sentenced properly. She was a single mother with no one to turn to for help. She had to be strong for her child but she also had to of felt alone. Just her and her child alone in a dark jail cell. That was only the beginning of her struggles. She was sentenced to stand on the platform in front of everybody. People that she was once close to were judging her and saying cruel things where she could easily hear them. She couldn’t do anything except stand there and face humiliation. Also, the fact that she has to wear a red ‘A’ on her outfit is a constant reminder of what she did. When everybody sees that ‘A’ on her, they will continue to judge her and continue to talk about her. When she sees Dimmesdale or Pearl, she will remember her crime and how she still has a secret to keep hidden. That secret will be on her conscience for most of her life. Because of her crime, she is shunned away from the village. She has to live outside of it and most people will not interact with her. Also her business of being a great seamstress will be ruined. She will still be able to make things for people, but certain things are off limits. Her husband had to lie and say that he did not know her because he did not want to be associated with a sinner. He didn’t want to be married to someone who was shunned by others. She no longer had someone to love or an actual family. As you can see through the entire book, her crime of adultery caused many struggles. She was looked at differently, her conscience was affected, and her family suffered. She didn’t mean for those things to change but they did and it was all because of one act.

The main character in Frankenstein is Victor Frankenstein. The novel is based on his story and how he was so obsessed with creating life, that it backfired on him. He had struggles all throughout his life. Unlike Hester Prynne, they did not start at a particular point in his life. However, they did get worse after the creation of his monster. His mother died when he was younger which affected him a lot. He also did not have a very close relationship with his father because he did not approve of what Victor was interested in studying. He never had the support of his father that most children need. Not only did his father not support him, but people that he looked up to did not either. When the professor told him that he should pursue other things, Victor disagreed with him and did what he wanted. He followed his dreams and did not listen to others. After doing research, he decided to create a new life. This new monster caused many problems for him. As soon as...
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