Superego In Scarlet Letter

Topics: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, Shame, Guilt, Hester Prynne, Emotion / Pages: 3 (723 words) / Published: Nov 13th, 2016
In Nathaniel Hawthrone's novel, The Scarlet Letter, both main protagonists, Hester and Dimmesdale, present behaviors which do not correlate with what they feel inside. According to Psychoanalytic ideology, "[the study] to bring patients' repressed memories and wishes to the surface"(Psychoanalysis), Hester and Dimmesdale are repressing their real emotions and projections ones that they are not feeling.
In the beginning of the novel,"When the young woman- them other of this child- stood fully revealed before the crowd, it seemed to be her first impulse to clasp the infant closely to her bosom; not so much by an impulse of motherly affection, as that she might thereby conceal a certain token, which was wrought or fastened to her dress" (Hawthorne
…show more content…
He outwardly fails to give any sense of his relationship with Hester fearing the repercussions. Inwardly, Dimmesdale struggles with the cowardliness as he watches Hester live a life of solitude and hardship. His guilt, self-pity, and disgust manifest itself in the form of the A which he branded to his chest.
Clearly demonstrated by the Scarlet Letter, "Societies rules and definitions concerning sexuality form a large part of our superego. The word superego implies feeling guilty (even though some of the time we shouldn't) because we are socially programmed to feel guilty whenever we break a social value (premarital sex, for example)" (Hazlet 7). The relationship between Hester and Dimmesdale takes place in the id ,"the psychological reservoir of our instincts and libido. "(Hazlet 8), which causes their desires forbidden by society to be explored.
Early in the novel, when Hester was shamed upon the scaffolding, "that the Reverend Master Dimmesdale, her godly pastor, [took] it very grievously to heart that such a scandal should have came upon his congregation" (Hawthorne 38). Instead of being upon the scaffolding with his lover, Dimmesdale allows his cowardliness to let Hester to take publicity for the sin, while he is portrayed to be shocked that such actions could have taken place in his

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Scarlet Letter
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • Scarlet Letter
  • Scarlet Letter
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • Scarlet Letter
  • Scarlet Letter
  • The scarlet letter
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • Scarlet letter