Examples Of Shame, Despair And Solitude In The Scarlet Letter

Great Essays
“Shame, Despair, and Solitude” taught Hester that the consequences of committing a sin “had made her strong, but taught her much amiss” (165). For example, violating a law brought her shame, and she concealed herself from the public as much as possible. In addition, despair taught Hester that she cannot reverse what she did and can only feel regretful for the sin. Lastly, solitude informed her what it feels like to be isolated from the townspeople and how they reject you for one thing you did in the past. Moreover, the sin that Hester executed also brought a miserable state upon Arthur Dimmesdale. While Hester assures Dimmesdale that he can live his life without Chillingworth and everything will be alright, he cries, “O Hester! Thou tellest …show more content…
While heading for town, Dimmesdale thought that he was in a dream, but soon realizes that this is his reality. Furthermore, after encountering Hester and Pearl, it appears as if Dimmesdale has a new view on life and the town he’s living in. For example, the narrator states, “The minister’s own will, and Hester’s will, and the fate that grew between them, had wrought this transformation. It was the same town as heretofore; but the same minister returned not from the forest” (178). Additionally, Dimmesdale claims that he is a new man, with a new path, and that the “old minister” was left in the forest. Before reaching home, a church elder acknowledged Dimmesdale with kindness, and initiated a conversation with him for just a minute. While speaking, he could hardly retain himself from announcing “blasphemous suggestions” that were on his mind. As he continued along the street, Dimmesdale again encountered a widowed elder who was lonely, however, her depressed mood switches to joy when she spots Dimmesdale because he had been her minister for more than thirty years. The woman is content whenever she heard his kind words, but in this moment, he “could recall no text of Scripture, nor aught else, except a brief, pithy, and, as it then appeared to him, unanswerable argument against the immortality of the human soul” …show more content…
Essentially, the quote means “On a black field, the letter A in red”. The symbolism in this quote is that even though Hester has gone to her grave, the guilt of the sin she committed will be with her forever. My overall feeling on the novel is that I thought it fascinating how the one forbidden act of passion could forever modify three characters’ lives. For instance, I believe that part of Dimmesdale’s sickness was caused by his unbearable guilt of the sin he committed with Hester Prynne. His guilt and shame was ultimately eating his health away, but just before he passed away, he confessed his sin so he would not die with it. Moreover, Chillingworth was a man built on revenge and that’s all that mattered to him after he found out about Dimmesdale. Finally, Hester Prynne, could never really forgive herself because she never wanted to take the scarlet letter off. However, in the last chapter, she aided to the people who felt remorse and sorrowful, so maybe then it was a symbol of relief. Moreover, I appreciated Hawthorne 's writing because even though the novel was published in the 1850s, his style of writing is still relatable and comprehensible. The characters that he created all had their own perspectives on different subject matters, and that’s one of the reasons why this book was so enjoyable to me. Furthermore, the themes that are presented in the novel are still relevant today, for

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Hester knows that she will suffer mentally if she does not tell Dimmesdale the truth of Chillingworth’s motives. Making Hester’s guilt public, she can forgive herself for the wrong she has done. Multiple times Hester’s guilt being public helps her to be forgiven and seen as part of the community. Wearing the scarlet letter as punishment, Hester’s sin is public for anyone to see, after some time, the Puritan people “Refused to interpret the scarlet “A” by its original significance. They said it meant “Able”” (152).…

    • 1450 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hamlet believed that there was no point in having children because the child will be a sinner and enter the world full of sinners and pain too. This pessimistic view of women caused Hamlet to be disillusioned, prompting him to question his own existence in such a despicable world. Hamlet’s situation altered his perspective of the world, because “what a piece of work is a man” (2.2.285). Although all men and women were created by the highest, almighty God, men are the ones who destroy their own status. Hamlet’s disillusionment caused Hamlet to lose faith and trust in all man giving him the perspective that all living has no sense of worth.…

    • 1220 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Confessing the truth about his adultery was his last attempt to reveal the lies that plague the town, and it destroys both his honor and dignity. John slanders his good name by confessing his sins to the towon. John also reveals that his wife knew of his adultery. He never allows his pride or reluctance to stop him from disclosing the truth. The ruination of his name could have prevented him from being honest about his mistakes, but his truthfulness endures.…

    • 1018 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The thing that I think hurt hester the most was that the town’s people didn’t accept pearl. They despised her because she was the actual sin that was created. In chapter 3 of the book she is forced to revesl the same of the man who impregnated her but she promised she will never say the name. Throughout the book Hester’s sin was not all that bad compared to those of…

    • 496 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hester is sent to Jail and publically humiliated because of a sin. The townspeople are the ones who should be punished for their brutality and their ignorance. Hester’s thoughts and actions are in the wrong place according to the people yet the peoples thoughts and actions are wrong according to Hester. Even though Hester is shunned and alienated she stays humble and…

    • 406 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    (Hawthorne 112). She pains him. Objectively she is his sin, despite the fact that he is in love with her and slowly replies “The sinful mother is happier than the sinful father” (Hawthorne 114) in hopes of allowing the pressure to be withdrawn from the custody battle presented by Chillingworth and the other Puritan leaders. Despite the pressure subsiding within the custody battle, Dimsdale’s health continues to decline as his conscious rips him apart. Unlike Hester he had not been given the opportunity to confess and to be punished, therefore he lived in a deplorable world of secret sin.…

    • 988 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    This is because he chose to stay with his statement which said that Abigail was a fraud and he chose that which would get him hung. John Proctor’s transformation is significant because it shows how he eventually forgave himself for being a sinner and becomes a good, noble and imperfect man. John refused to let the whole town find out about his affair and further embarrass his wife, as well as the loss of the respect he received in his village. John couldn’t handle living with his sin which was why he chose to die than…

    • 1272 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The townspeople no longer respected her when her true intentions showed off. Emily deserved the tribute “A Rose” as a symbol of the old South dignity. No one should feel sorry for Emily, since those were her personal decisions. Emily, the necrophilia (an erotic or sexual attraction to corpses) loved a man in a horrible way that no sane person wants to be loved; yet it is still considered…

    • 1691 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In conclusion, sin and how someone copes with it is the measure of a person’s worth. Just as Hester has to endure the shame and pressure of the scarlet letter A on her for life and she rises above. Or how Roger Chillingworth ultimately sells his soul to whatever devil he could find to bring the suffering upon the one who slept with his wife, and gaining nothing but bitterness. And finally poor Arthur suffering alone in silence as the people around him hold him to a standard he could only fall short of. Hawthorne seems to be the only one who can truly…

    • 811 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Roger Chillingworth tried to examine Arthur Dimmesdale’s heart [CE7]. It said “all that guilty sorrow, hidden from the world, whose great heart would have pitied and forgiven, to be revealed to him, the Pitiless--to him, the Unforgiving!” [E7]. This evidence showed that all the guilt that has not been confessed would be felt by the person by a sorrow feeling. If the person confessed, the world would forgive him. If not, he could not receive forgiveness and will suffer because of that [R7].…

    • 1166 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays