Scarlet Letter Theme Essay

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Amid facing imprisonment, the main character strives to leave a life of repentance struggling to restore her dignity.

The author sets the novel in the seventeenth century in a Puritan community within Boston, Massachusetts. She is carrying “her daughter in her arms with her body covered with a gown referred to as a rag of scarlet cloth that takes the shape of letter A” (Hawthorne 10). In the end, Dimmesdale reveals letter “A” marked in his breasts where Pearl kisses him only to mark the death of Chillingworth.

The strong belief on her autonomy to reason and take charge of her actions arguably is as an immense source of her motivation.

As previously mentioned, some of the universal ideas introspected in include offense, culpability and legalism.

This way, she can contemplate about herself and the surrounding society in a more bold way.

The realization of the fact that “No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true” (Hawthorne 105) makes the theme of sin and knowledge even more conspicuous in the novel.Though shamed publicly, she does not allow these acts to change her personality or feel sorry about her past.This fact is somewhat evident when she proclaims that “But this had been a sin of passion, not of principle, nor even purpose” (Hawthorne 45).This is perhaps true since the society elders put more emphasis on seeing Hester go through the experiences of her involvement in sin right here on earth.The Puritan elders view sin as something worthy a fascinating masterpiece featuring Hester Prynne as the protagonist.Hester bears a child, Pearl, who is a byproduct of an adulterous affair.Unfortunately, this experience is prejudiced since Dimmesdale does not go through such experience. They strongly believe that Hester’s source of sin relates to sexism of the men in their town.They seek help from her when faced with similar sexism forces emanating from the men.Though Hester does not plainly admit that she was involved in sinful acts, the repercussions of sin are imminent since “She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom” (Hawthorne 147).Even though Hester and Dimmesdale are empathetic, attempting to reconcile themselves on daily life experiences, sin has certain moral consequences, which need to be conspicuous before the eyes of the society.


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