Analysis Of The Book ' The Scarlet Letter ' Essays

1189 Words Nov 18th, 2015 5 Pages
The Scarlet Letter Draft “All greatness of character is dependent on individuality. The man who has no other existence than that which he partakes in common with all around him, will never have any other than an existence of mediocrity”-James Fenimore Cooper. Throughout the Romantic novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne establishes the idea individuality and conformity and how it defines one’s identity. By utilizing a cast of characters such as the young adultress, Hester Prynne and her secret lover, and young minister Arthur Dimmesdale, Hawthornes illustrates the internal struggle concerning one’s identity and position in society. Hawthorne’s representation of the strict Puritan society further outlines the consequences of singularity and congruity in society. Due to the severity of the Puritan government, Puritans were always concerned about how to fit in best. This ultimately led to a large community concealing the reality of human flaws, frailties, and sins in order to avoid judgement from their peers. Although keeping secrets provides a short-term solution for the sinner to avoid punishment, the novel argues that repression of the individual behind a mask of secret-keeping conformity will ultimately warp and destroy a person 's soul. By explicating Hester’s defiance of societal expectations and Dimmesdale’s choice to misinterpret himself in obedience to public opinion, Hawthorne demonstrates that the conflict between individuality and conformity is also a battle between…

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