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Theme of Scarlet Letter

Uploaded by Admin on Nov 13, 2000

“The rose bush, by a strange chance, has been kept alive in history; but whether it had merely survived out of the stern old wilderness, so long after the fall of the gigantic pines and oaks that originally over-shadowed it, -or whether, as there is fair authority for believing, it had sprung up under the footsteps of the sainted Anne Hutchinson, as she entered the prison-door, -we shall not take upon us to determine.”

In The Scarlet Letter, author, Nathaniel Hawthorne effectively sets the mood for this dismal novel. The ugliness and rust in the prison and cemetery seems like the last place for any kind of beauty to be. But the rosebush grows contrasting with the depressing backdrop offering a sort of sweetness to this tragic story. In this tale, practically every main character is faced with a dreadful sin or evilness, but within the malice, there is also a pleasant side to each character’s transgression, illustrating hypocrisy.

Hester Prynne is introduced as a tall, beautiful woman condemned for committing a serious sin of adultery. During her most significant scene, the first time she must climb the scaffold as disapproving eyes gaze upon her, Hester is described as being extremely graceful and brave. Even though Hester is labeled with an awful accusation, underneath all the sin, lies a young woman in love with a man. Chillingworth, Hester’s husband, admits that their marriage displayed no kind of love, so it was only expected that Hester get involved with a man she actually cared for. She was in fact the victim among the other characters by being forced to marry Chillingworth without loving him and had to deal with Chillingworth’s selfishness, which permitted him to marry the young girl – knowing all along that she never loved him. And lastly, she is the victim of Chillingworth’s stupidity in leaving his wife alone in Massachusetts. Treated as an outcast for about seven years, Hester is finally considered to be free from the "A.” When the Puritan community realized that Hester was in fact not as corrupt as supposed, they decided that she could return as a regular citizen in their village.

In addition there’s Pearl, the “demon’s offspring”. She is described as a “luxuriant beauty; a bright complexion, eyes possessing intensity both of depth and glow.” With Pearl’s breathtaking appearance, her personality is somewhat odd. Her mood alters frequently. She may be laughing...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   11/13/2000

Category:   Literature

Length:   2 pages (561 words)

Views:   1345

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