AP English III
October 8, 2014
The scarlet letter the story of a young woman which committed what was considered to be one of the most vile sins of her time. That sin was adultery and for committing such a sin her punishment was public humiliation in the form of a scarlet letter a worn upon her bosom. Hester Pryne the wife of Roger Pryne (aka Chillingworth) was left waiting alone for two years for the arrival of her husband in the new world for two long lonesome years she waited in hopes of the arrival of her husband. Within these two long years she meets a man the accomplice to her adulterous act, this mans name is Author Dimmesdale the local reverend of the town, she found comfort within this man for she had longed for companionship for she had lost hope and believed her husband to have perished at sea. Within the midst of their taboo love they gave life to a child, this child named pearl was that which linked Hester and Dimmesdale and that which exposed the sin which she had committed. This is a tale of hypocrisy, conformity, vengeance, and forgiveness all of these expressed within the story through each character Reverend Dimmesdale has been made weak both physically and y by hypocrisy for having assisted in the act of adultery when he teaches others to act holy and just he lost himself. Hester and her daughter pearl faced the pressures of conformity by the church and community this pressure made Hester and Pearl in some ways rebel against the ideals of society. Roger Pryne (Chillingworth) is consumed by vengeance as he searches for the truth as to weather or not Dimmesdale is the father he becomes obsessed and depraved in search of the truth. Forgiveness is shown through both Hester and Dimmesdale, Hester is forgiven by the town, Dimmesdale is forgiven by the town after he has died. These four themes are the basis which creates and brings this story to life because they affect all characters throughout the story.
Reverend Dimmesdale the epitome of hypocrisy for the very man who teaches and leads people to live a moral and holy righteous life commits immoral a sin as a man. For example He foreshadows and speaks of himself in this manner Nay; not so, my little Pearl!" answered the minister; for, with the new energy of the moment, all the dread of public exposure, that had so long been the anguish of his life, had returned upon him; and he was already trembling at the conjunction in which—with a strange joy, nevertheless—he now found himself. "Not so, my child. I shall, indeed, stand with thy mother thee one other day, but not to-morrow!" he Is telling others to be forthcoming to confess their sins sooner than later but himself is delaying the confession of his sins. This constant pressure and awareness of hypocrisy weighs down upon Dimmesdale heavily for he is weakened in both body and spirit for he clenches his heart constantly due to the pressures of living such a life. He confesses this to Hester in chapter 17 as they meet in the forest he says that he can no longer bare such a burden as he blames Hester for all that has happened he grasps his heart. Hypocrisy has made Dimmesdale weak physically and mentally he has lost his identity within this secret.
Hester and Pearl seen as outcast to the community are pressured by both the community church to conform to live as they want them to. Hester was not but instead meant to be seen as example with the scarlet letter which layer upon her chest, an example to all sinners and to those who considered committing such a sin. As the story progresses Hester turn the letter which symbolized shame and humiliation to a symbol of strength she became stronger as a person and did not succumb to the pressures of conformity. Hester’s strength is shown to the reader early on in The Scarlet Letter in many ways. One of these early examples of her strength is that fact that even though Hester has been publically humiliated and forced to...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document