The Scarlet Letter

Topics: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne Pages: 6 (2272 words) Published: September 27, 2010
In the world of literature, there are many ways to indirectly convey or foreshadow events, settings, and situations. Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter uses a great deal of literary devices and techniques in order to effectively lead the reader towards his viewpoint and, finally, towards his purpose. The sin of adultery, which acts as the base and impetus for much of the plot in The Scarlet Letter, affects Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth the most; however, each of the preceding is affected differently by the sin and each of their fates is decided accordingly. Every one of the aforementioned also gains a sort of wisdom, be it good or be it evil, from their suffering. Hawthorne uses symbolism, metaphors, and imagery to convey each character's intrinsic traits which are forced to surface as a result of the sin. The author uses internal and external conflict to represent each character's wisdom gained from their suffering.Hester's external release of pain is in great contrast with Dimmesdale's internal accumulation of pain. Dimmesdale's suffering is very much internal and continues to build slowly and strenuously. The air of regret from the sin of adultery is held in Dimmesdale like a balloon being sl Dimmesdale gains a pious wisdom from his suffering that his own congregation praises and elevates him for. Chillingworth's obsession with a most painful revenge on Dimmesdale's soul leads Chillingworth to a one-way-only path. Hester gains a sort of moral wisdom from her sin's punishment. He sees revenge to the perpetrator as a perfectly valid solution to his suffering, so Chillingworth turns into the human version of a demon or a leech. The same air of regret is exhaled from Hester by the scarlet letter like a ventilation grate; the scarlet letter, despite the ignominy and shame it causes, acts as a form of releasing the sin's pain. Though the three are all affected in different ways by the sin, Hester, who rotates the sin into its most positive light, turns out to be the only one to live a long, healthy life in the end. Just as Dimmesdale's hypocrisy and pain originating from hiding the truth finally brought the reverend to his knees, Chillingworth's own thirst for revenge brought him into the ground dry and shriveled up without a host. He sees that without his host, his dedicated purpose in life, he cannot survive. His nerve seemed absolutely destroyed. And Chillingworth becomes comparable to an uncontrollable black flower. His only outputs for his pain are his sermons, which are not taken for what they really are by the adoring public eye. Unlike Hester, Dimmesdale lacks any way to vent his pain. Let the black flower blossom as it may!" Chillingworth becomes a demonic parasite feeding off of the reverend as a form of revenge Through careful analysis of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthrone and The Crucible by Arthur Miller; one will discover similar themes.  These themes include sin, punishment of sin, the devil, and love/lust.  Through careful analysis and discussion one can see the evident relationship that exists between these two works.

            The most obvious theme contained in both works is sin. In The Scarlet Letter, the sin that has been committed is adultery and has produced an illegitimate child.  Hester Prynne, and the outspoken and praised minister of the Puritan community Arthur Dimmsdale were the adulters who committed the sin and produced the child Pearl.  Throughout the story Hester is dehumanized for her sin, while Dimmsdale is still thought to be the "almighty" minister.  In similarity from The Crucible, sin is put on trial.  The Crucible directly addresses the themes and ideas from Salem Witch Trials.  The young girls and their "leader" Abigail are the core of sin and evil in the girls and the community.  Throughout the story accusations are "thrown" at others from the community who are believed righteous.  Ultimately in this story the sin is "coming" directly from...
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