Essay Analysis Of ' The Scarlet Letter '

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With both a New Critical and a Deconstructive analysis of The Scarlet Letter, it is evident that the guilt and shame of adultery is passed from the two main characters continuously throughout the novel causing both to damage themselves and each other. However, when reading from a Deconstructionist angle, Hester is the antagonist while in a New Critical reading she is the protagonist. The Scarlet Letter opens with a clerk in a customs house sifting through several old boxes when he stumbles across a mysterious red letter “A.” He proceeds to read the story of Hester Prynne: the Puritan adulteress mother. In her story, readers learn that the father of her daughter, Pearl, is actually the young Reverend Dimmsdale who cannot admit to being the girl’s father, sending Hester to the outskirts of town to raise Pearl alone. While she is there, she becomes a seamstress, sewing clothes for the townspeople, eventually becoming welcomed back into the Puritan community as a productive member of society. Until Dimmsdale confesses to the town by removing his robes and revealing a red letter “A” implanted on his chest. The point of view throughout the novel is omniscient third person; however, the narrator is subjectively voiced. As she is standing on a pedestal in the town square, Dimmsdale tells Hester, “Be not silent from any mistaken pity and tenderness for him; for, believe me, Hester, though he were to step down from a high place, and stand there beside thee, on thy pedestal of shame,…

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