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Analyzing Secrets in The Scarlet Letter Whether intentional or not, keeping secrets is part of human nature. Be it a small and embarrassing habit, or even a brief moment of breaking the law, some things find it best to leave personal acts that they deem deviant out of day to day conversation.
For some, keeping these secrets may be no problem, but for others it can be agonizing. The time period in which this story is set holds a great deal of importance.
While adultery is a devious act no matter how you look at it, it was especially devilish in this time period of Colonia America. Because of societal rules, Hester is ridiculed for her act of love after having felt imprisoned in a loveless marriage.
Likewise, Dimmesdale is unable to profess his love due to the restrictions placed upon him; if he were to confess what he did, he would surely be punished, possibly with death Critical essays on the scarlet letter Hester and Dimmesdale acted impulsively and, as Bercovitch claims, naturally, even though letting emotion takeover is rarely the best way to handle a situation.
Unlike Dimmesdale, Hester has no choice but to embrace their adultery, as everyone finds out due to her child. While this may seem like a horrendous punishment at first, it actually ends up working out very well for Hester. Initially, the villagers are cold to Hester, who feels guilt and shame from their cold gazes and commentary.
Hester tries to go on with her life as normal, setting up residence on the outskirts of town and taking on sewing jobs as well as raising Pearl by herself.
The townspeople begin to appreciate the hard work that Hester will do for these people, and forget about her past. She even reinvents the letter on her chest, embroidering it with gold to call more attention to it.
Rather than avoid the past, she instead attempts to complete tasks in an effort to seek forgiveness. From this quote one must wonder if the hate projected upon Hester by the townspeople is more than just disgust, perhaps in an attempt to distract their neighbors from their own secret sins.
In contrast to Hester, Arthur Dimmesdale refuses to reveal the act of adultery, instead allowing it to diminish him throughout the novel. The status of Dimmesdale is very different compared to Hester; a highly regarded reverend, Dimmesdale is determined to keep the sin a secret from the beginning.
Despite this, Dimmesdale attempts to keep his composure to the best of his ability, although it becomes very obvious that something is wrong with him. Of course, most villagers attribute this to his unrelenting and exhausting devotion to his religious studies, unaware of the true evil that is troubling him.
I left him yonder in the forest. Ridding himself of the horrible weight that Dimmesdale carried upon himself for seven years is liberating. Of course, the weight of seven years is not so easily purged; Dimmesdale reveals to all of the townsfolk his sin and casts aside his garments to reveal his very own stigma.
Dimmesdale suddenly becomes very weak, and dies.
|The Scarlet Letter Critical Essays - regardbouddhiste.com||Critical Essay on The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne is just that, the tragic story of Hester Prynne, a women found guilty of adultery, her rejection, public humiliation, and her inner feelings and the effect on her community in|
|Fernando Pessoa - Wikipedia||Hester Prynne, a young wife whose husband has been missing for over a year, is accused of adultery following the birth of her infant daughter Pearl.|
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In his final moments, readers are left with the comforting truth that Dimmesdale rids himself of the weight that he carried for so long. However, this cautionary tale proves that spending our lives trying to store away our dark secrets is not advised, seeing as how this action resulted in Dimmesdale paying the ultimate price.
While the aforementioned characters deal with their secret sin in very different ways, the connections between them are also very noteworthy.
For starters, the secret is mutual; their act of adultery effectively bonds them together for the rest of their lives, whether they want to accept it or not.
However, both characters are forced to deal with it in separate ways. Bearing a child without a father, Hester is cast aside by the community, and is forced to face the ridicule.
Dimmesdale, while facing similar feelings, has the blessing as well as the curse of keeping his involvement a secret. Dimmesdale avoids public ridicule and maintains his position as reverend, yet must deal with the traumatizing secret internally.
By the end of the novel, neither Hester nor Dimmesdale seem to regret the choices they made, for the miracle of Pearl was enough to justify their actions.
While the love story of Dimmesdale and Hester may be tragic, their assurance that Pearl will live a happy life helps them to rest easily.
Keeping a secret is a daunting task, and may affect an individual in ways they do not realize. Watching their lives unfold, readers are given insight into how secret sin affects a person. Hawthorne seems to be urging his audience to avoid being put in such situations; for the end result can be deadly.
Works Cited Bercovitch, Sacvan.Critical Essay on The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne is just that, the tragic story of Hester Prynne, a women found guilty of adultery, her rejection, public humiliation, and her inner feelings and the effect on her community in Since its publication in , The Scarlet Letter has never been out of print, nor indeed out of favor with literary critics.
It is inevitably included in listings of the five or ten greatest. regardbouddhiste.com: Critical Essays on Hawthorne's the Scarlet Letter (Critical Essays on American Literature) (): David B.
Kesterson: Books. The Scarlet Letter's first chapter ends with an admonition to "relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow" with "some sweet moral blossom." These opposites are found throughout the novel and often set the tone and define which side of good and evil envelop the characters.
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