Essay on The Scarlet Letter, By Jane Brody

1150 Words Jan 28th, 2016 5 Pages
“Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.” This articulate statement was once said by the not so popular but very intellectual, Gretchen Rubin. Most people in the world today believe that guilt is either a negative or unnecessary emotion because they believe it leads to misery, depression, and self-incrimination.Believe it or not, guilt is one of the most useful of our emotions as successfully argued in the article, “Guilt: Or Why It’s Good To Feel Bad,” written by Jane Brody. These arguments are then strengthened by the main characters: Hester Prynne and Roger Chillingworth in the novel The Scarlet Letter. Guilt is positive emotion because it is essential for “social order”, generates “ego ideals”, and it restricts a large number of psychopaths in society.
Throughout The Scarlet Letter, guilt forces many characters to rethink and repair the damages caused by their overly-severe punishment inflicted on other characters. The Scarlet Letter strengthens the fact that guilt is a “positive force” because it is essential for “social order” by helping people feel connected when both Chillingworth and the townspeople attempt to make up for their wrongdoings. Dr. Helen Block Lewis describes guilt as “the [cement] that binds us together and keeps us human… [Then she states that i]f it occurs to you that you’ve done something to injure someone else, guilt compels you to do…

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