The Scarlet Letter, Critical Essay

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The Scarlet Letter, Critical Essay

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter was the greatest writing of American Literature of his time and even to this day. His beliefs in this book are based on the ideas of the Romantics. The story of Hester Prynne and her journey, talks about her going against the nature of society and clearly stating that emotion is superior to reason. It is apparent in the novel Hawthorne believed emotion was superior to law, and humans are intrinsically good. The following quotes pulled out of the book, as well as the literary criticisms, all give examples as to why Hawthorne was believed to be a Romantic.

“[He] experienced a sensation not altogether physical, yet almost so, as of burning heat; and as if the letter was not of red cloth, but of red-hot iron.” Such a description suggests a branding iron, a clear symbol of ownership and power. That literary criticism represents Hester wearing the scarlet colored A on her breast for everyone in town to see. Even with the whole town against her thinking she had done wrong, she knows in her heart what she did was for a good reason and she had a right to do it. The red A showed so much passion to Hester as well as Hawthorne that he didn’t believe it was just cloth on her chest but it was more than cloth, it was a way of living now. Throughout the criticism and ridicule dealt with she kept her head held high and not letting the society corrupt her mind and go with her heart instead. Hawthorne believed the A didn’t mean sin like the fellow townspeople thought; he interpreted it as a sign of passion with her heart to be doing what she was doing. Hester showed passion in her soul by not letting the other people get to her emotionally. It was physically and emotionally difficult to deal with over the years, but by her taking orders by the people and not giving in showed she still had compassion for others. “So, to their own unutterable torment, they go about among their fellow-creatures...
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