The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

1166 Words Nov 2nd, 2016 5 Pages
In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne gives readers a taste of what life was like in a society controlled by Puritans. It is a miserable life, as Hawthorne shows readers through the degradation of Hester Prynne, the adulterous protagonist, who has to bear being isolated from society. In the sidelines, there is Reverend Dimmesdale, who is tortured internally by his secret “sin” of having an affair with Prynne. And while all of this is going on, Roger Chillingworth, Prynne’s revenge-ridden husband, is gleefully enjoying watching all the torture taking place. Hawthorne makes Chillingworth’s sadistic character even more clear by referring to him as the “leech”. Hawthorne then makes clear the depressing fact that most of the people in this novel are bound by society and suffers as a result but except for Chillingworth. Chillingworth, a sociopath and arguably the most evil of all the characters in the novel, is not bound by society, just as Hawthorne intended in this commentary of Puritanism. According to this commentary, if only a sadist, like Chillingworth, is able to succeed in a Puritan society, this shows that Puritanism is deeply flawed. It does not even matter if Chillingworth fails in the end because he did reign power for such a long time in the book, more than what should be allowed for a sadist. Although most of the characters in the novel are bound by Puritanism, Chillingworth is the most socially free of all of them. He is the only one who can freely wander in…

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