Analysis Of The Book ' The Scarlet Letter ' By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1205 Words Nov 22nd, 2015 5 Pages
Darkness, A Gateway to Light and Freedom

According to Greek Historian Thucydides, “The secret to happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage”. An integral part of one’s thoughts and human nature is to obtain freedom. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a prime example of this driving force in human nature. Both Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale have flaws that they find ways to conceal, but realize that their attitudes will lead to their demise. Dimmesdale, a minister of the church, commits adultery with Hester, and Hester is secretly the wife of Roger Chillingworth. However, neither feels compelled to publicize his or her information due to fear of being shunned; as a result, misery ensues. Hawthorne employs the motifs of wilderness and light vs. darkness to suggest that even in strict societies people try to avoid judgement and be free. There are multiple instances in the novel when the characters use the wilderness as a safe house, away from the judgement and harassment of the townspeople. After Hester is brutally exposed on the scaffold, she needs a place where she can be without facing judgement, a space where she can be free and hide. The forest embodies all the characteristics of the space she desires; in fact, the narrator describes it as a place where “To Hester’s mind, it imaged not amiss the moral wilderness in which she had so long been wandering” (Hawthorne 118). In a time of distress, Hester searches for a place where she can…

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