Psychological Evaluation Of A Novel ' The Scarlet Letter ' Essay

1278 Words Feb 22nd, 2016 6 Pages
A Psychological Evaluation of a Supposedly Feminist Novel The various aspects of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter allow it to be classified as a mixture of subgenres within the literary genre. The Scarlet Letter is often considered a romantic novel due to the movement of Romanticism that took place during the writing of the novel. Romanticism was a major philosophical movement during the nineteenth century and it emphasized the elements of nature and the supernatural. However, The Scarlet Letter can arguably be classified as a psychological novel or a feminist novel. Each classification is based on the nature of the characters and their development throughout the story. The psychological nature of the novel can be traced through the characters Dimmesdale, Chillingworth, and Hester. The main part psychology plays in the novel can be seen in Arthur Dimmesdale 's internal conflict. This conflict is propagated by Dimmesdale 's guilt, which causes his trust issues, and ultimately, the decline of his health. Dimmesdale 's guilt is evidenced by the fact that "his inward trouble drove him to practices, more in accordance with the old, corrupt faith of Rome... In Mr. Dimmesdale 's secret closet, under lock and key, there was a bloody scourge. Oftentimes, this Protestant and Puritan divine had plied it on his own shoulders" (Hawthorne 126). This shows that Dimmesdale 's guilt led him to flagellation, a form of self-harm used by people in the fourteenth century as a…

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