Living and Learning: the Right to Salvation (the Scarlet Letter)

1284 Words Jun 15th, 2010 6 Pages
CRAM Exclusive
Essay Sample: Page 2
As for Dimmesdale, the “burden” of his sin gives him “sympathies so intimate with the sinful brotherhood of mankind, so that his heart vibrates in unison with theirs.” His most articulate, powerful sermons were derived from the sense of empathy gained from experience. Hester and Dimmesdale contemplate their own sinfulness constantly, and try to repent it with the way they live their lives afterward. The Puritan elders, on the other hand, insist on seeing sinful experiences as a mere obstacle on the path to heaven. Hence, they view life on earth as insignificant, and sin as a threat to the community that should be severely punished and suppressed. While they punish Hester and Dimmesdale, their Puritan society is stagnant, while Hester and Dimmesdale's experience shows that imperfection and life experience are not evil. They are necessary to personal growth and true, deep understanding of others.

Hester realizes and expresses that sin is forgivable, and at times necessary, to achieve a true personal identity in earthly life. After Hester is publicly shamed and forced by her society to wear the scarlet letter as a badge of humiliation, she is unwilling to pick up and leave the town. Although she is free to leave the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and doing so would allow her to remove the scarlet letter and live a life of quiet obscurity, she is unwilling to flee her “burden”. Hester even reacts with disappointment when Chillingworth tells her
CRAM Exclusive

Related Documents

  • The Scarlet Letter Essay examples

    The Scarlet Letter: A Not-So-Similar Ending between the Movie and the Novel The Scarlet Letter is a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850. In 1995, an adaptation movie of the novel was released. The movie, however, is not quite similar with the novel as one would hope – something that could be predicted easily as in the beginning in the movie the excerpt “freely adapted from the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne” was shown. There are few differences that can be found between the ending of the

    Words: 626 - Pages: 3
  • Essay about Scarlet Letter

    the people living in the town. They then started talking about death and how they want to die with people remembering them when suddenly there is an avalanche. They all run out of the house and get killed by the falling rocks. The rocks completely missed the house but the people were never found in the rubble around the house. Most writers have a style in which they write and they follow this style through all their works. Nathaniel Hawthorne is no exception to this. In the Scarlet Letter and in The

    Words: 788 - Pages: 4
  • Essay about The Scarlet Letter

    Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, must grapple with emotional pain that threatens to destroy them wholeheartedly. But Hawthorne conveys the idea that suffering is the key to making one stronger, and he develops his characters through the agony they experience. Hawthorne uses Hester Prynne's Scarlet Letter to convey the symbolism of stigma and oppression, but also to act as a catalyst that will eventually cause her to triumph over its negative effects on her soul. Originally, the Scarlet Letter has "such

    Words: 1329 - Pages: 6
  • Essay about The Scarlet Letter

    Nathaniel Hawthorne"s, The Scarlet Letter is a book about a woman, Hester, who moves to Boston from England during the Puritan times. She has a husband, and tells the colonists of Boston he will be arriving to be with her soon. After years go by and he doesn"t arrive, Hester finds another man whom she becomes close to. She becomes pregnant and the town finds out she has committed adultery. She is forced to wear a letter "A," meaning "adulteress," on her bosom for the rest of her life. The book focuses

    Words: 1569 - Pages: 7
  • The Scarlet Letter: My Experience Essay

    Concepts that are streamlined so that they may glide their way elegantly into my understanding like the 2001: A Space Odyssey union of shuttle and station, backed by strains of the lilting Blue Danube [1]. Digesting Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ultra-dense Scarlet Letter, therefore, felt more properly compared to a Surgeon’s retrieval of his Rolex from the open chest cavity of an ill-fated patient, perhaps to a score of pounding, rapid, multi-tiered baroque fugues. Yes, the ideas and connections were there

    Words: 1679 - Pages: 7
  • Scarlet Letter Essay

    The Change from Demon to Woman The thought that adultery could have both positive and negative effects is one of the major themes in The Scarlet Letter. The negative side was that the scarlet letter “A” branded Hester Prynne physically for committing the sinful act of adultery, and her daughter Pearl emotionally because she was the product of her mother’s sinful act. Many people in the Puritan community of Boston shunned this behavior even though it could ultimately produce a miracle of life.

    Words: 1476 - Pages: 6
  • The Scarlet Letter Essay

    and confident look. But why? Didn’t she committed an adulterous act, that came to light to all the society she had lived in? Didn’t she give birth to illegitimate child? Didn’t she have to wear on her breast the immutable sign of her disgrace – scarlet letter A? She did, but she still had a reason to be proud and graceful. Hester was in the middle of her journey to self discovery. Hester was a passionate person and being passionate about someone or about something was a natural state of being

    Words: 1094 - Pages: 5
  • The Scarlet Letter: Tales of Sin and Confession Essay

    The Scarlet Letter: Tales of Sin and Confession By: Zack Phillips "The happiness of the wicked passes away like a torrent!" This quote from Jean Baptiste Racin summarizes The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne in one sentence. The novel's main focus is on three main characters and how the sins they commit affect their lives in the strict Puritan town of Boston around the year 1642. Hawthorne was very knowledgeable of his Puritan ancestry and shows it by incorporating some important thoughts

    Words: 1495 - Pages: 6
  • Hypocrisy in the Scarlet Letter Essay

    Hypocrisy in the Scarlet Letter “Truth was the one virtue which I might have held fast… save when thy good – thy life – thy fame – were put into question.” These words spoken by Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter display her practice of situational morals and hypocrisy. Hawthorne displays this major element of human nature, hypocrisy in all characters save young Pearl who is blatantly unique from most people. Dimmesdale, Hester, and the entire Puritan community are hypocrites, and their hypocrisy

    Words: 928 - Pages: 4
  • Imagery and Irony in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

    Imagery and Irony in The Scarlet Letter               Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of The Scarlet Letter, uses a variety of literary techniques in order to produce energy and invoke the interest of the reader.  He creates the mood and the climax of the novel by using the techniques of imagery and irony.  Yet, it is his use of symbolism that truly carries the novel.             An abundance of symbolism appears in many different forms, adding interest to the novel.  For instance, Hawthorne

    Words: 913 - Pages: 4