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" (Hawthorne, 71) This statement of intent strikes as a core romantic value, contending with no small degree of irony that there is a sense of moral authority in the air which bears a dominant effect on the lives of New Englanders. Indeed, this is consistent with our understanding of Hawthorne's critical response to the forces of Puritanism.
That the author is from the infamous settlement of Salem, Massachusetts, commonly referenced for its dark rash of institutionalized colonial era murders, all directed toward women accused of witchcraft, may be perceived as a meaningful context through which to understand the generally damning perspective which the author demonstrates in his work toward the gender order defining civil life. As we see in the Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne was generally fixated on the destructive dynamic which governed man's relationship with woman in such a society. That Hester could be so transformed against her will…… [Read More]
" This seems powerful evidence that she has not accepted Puritan gender roles, but instead, is defending and helping to uplift the man who got her into this situation, and who is looked up to as a spiritual leader, while she is a spiritual outcast. The contrast is striking between the two, yet she is the strong one.
There was neither "irritation or irksomeness" in Hester (124) and the "blameless purity of her life during all these years in which she had been set apart to infamy, was reckoned largely in her favor." On page 128, more back-up to the fact that she made the most of a bad situation, and emerged in effect thumbing her nose at the Puritan fanaticism that put her to public shame: "...Her life had turned in a great measure, from passion and feeling, to thought... [and] the world's law was no law for her…… [Read More]
They also become physically afflicted, afflicted in their corrupt and judgmental flesh, in the case of Chillingworth, rotting like a plant.
Hawthorne's fairy-tale like ending, however unrealistic it may sound, because surely the bad and cowardly are not always punished by death and despair, does strike one true note. People who morally condemn others are entirely dependant upon finding moral causes to uphold, and people to defame. ith no one to blame, and with their principles shown to be misguided, they have nothing to live for. ith no one to condemn, Chillingworth has no reason to exist. His morality has no positive force to help others, only to hurt and judge.
It is not hard for me to see many Chillingsworths on television today. Turn on Fox News, and hear people condemn others whom they see as immoral. They are always right, and others are always wrong. But if they…… [Read More]
That's a very sad thing and it again shows that lack of forgiveness in the Puritan society of 16th century. Pearl thus stands for innocence in the novel- innocence that is tainted by someone else's sins.
Dimmesdale represents the psychological damage that wrong teachings of the Church could produce. He is also symbolizing the weakness in the structure of the Church. He is a minister who preaches people against adultery but has committed a sin himself. He is a human being and if seen with compassion, he should be allowed to have a family but the Church sees him as a sinner and the constant pain and anguish that he undergoes leads to serious psychological damage. He is so upset with the Church that he proclaims: "Were I an atheist...I might have found peace, long ere now" (1499
Chillingworth is the husband who went missing for few years during which…… [Read More]
Hester refers to her label as a "passport" revealing that it is freeing for her, and Dimmesdale is able to preach and understand humanity better because of his relationship. True sin is not understood by the other preachers, but evil is found in the closeness of love and hate in the society.
Another major theme in the Scarlet Letter is identity. Hester embraces her "A" identity and refuses to leave the town so that she can remove the label and restart her life. She does not want it to be removed or to leave the town because that would prove others have power over her, rather than showing that she does not feel shame for who she is. Hester's adulterous relationship is something that she admits is a part of her identity, and she does not want to discard that aspect of herself. Dimmesdale struggles because he is not able…… [Read More]
As written in the novel, can teach my little Pearl what I have learned from this!"
In the side of Dimmesdale, on the other hand, the effect of the sin he committed is perhaps stronger and more painful than Hester's because the bad effects caused by his sin were not instigated by the people around him, but by himself. Being a minister, Dimmesdale was known in his community as a man of respect and honor. When he committed adultery, he didn't want to confess his sin because he didn't want to lose the good reputation that the people have for him. What happened is Dimmesdale struggled from the guilt that he kept only to himself until it started to destroy his mind and emotion. He even came to the point of inflicting pain to himself, all caused by shame and guilt of the sin he did.
The effect of the…… [Read More]
hen women try to fling mud at Hester, as they are 'supposed' to do, because she is an adulteress, Pearl, the "imp," "who was a dauntless child, after frowning, stamping her foot, and shaking her little hand with a variety of threatening gestures, suddenly made a rush at the knot of her enemies, and put them all to flight." (Hawthorne, 1850, Chapter 7)
After giving birth to her daughter Pearl, Hester's early mode of opposition to society changes and becomes broader. Rather than simply show her resistance through sexual defiance, her defiance begins to embrace the entire Puritan structure of ruler. Her opposition becomes more internal, as she becomes more and more critical of societal standards beyond the purely sexual and material. hen are still flashes of the old Hester, as when she sees her old husband, Chillingworth: "Be it sin or no,' said Hester Prynne bitterly, as she still…… [Read More]
Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne [...] ways in which the book is a critique of Puritanism. "The Scarlet Letter" was written in 1850, but it takes place in the 1600s, when Puritanism was at its height in New England. Hester Prynne, the heroine of the novel, is ostracized by a very strict and proper Puritan society, because of her affair with the evered Arthur Dimmesdale. Puritan society had strict moral codes, and when they were violated, there was no forgiveness. Hawthorne used the book as a strong critique on Puritanism that lasts until this day, and shows just how unbending the founders of New England were in the ways of the world.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's view of Puritanism is clear in "The Scarlet Letter." He shows it as an unyielding, strict, and highly moral religion that allowed little deviance from established values. He also shows the Puritan leaders as moral judges,…… [Read More]
Scarlet Letter. There are three references used for this paper.
The novel "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne has been a classic for many years. It is important to examine the theme Hawthorne develops and how he exhibits it through the lives of his characters.
Sin and Guilt
Hawthorne carries the theme of sin and guilt throughout his novel. This theme is noticeable in the plot line and is illustrated through the main characters of Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth.
Hester is a married woman who arrives from England prior to her husband, Roger Chillingworth. Hester commits the sin of adultery and having a daughter out of wedlock. She refuses to name the father of her child and is forced to live with guilt by wearing a scarlet "A" on her gown.
Hester is also guilty of hiding the fact the Chillingworth is her husband, and…… [Read More]
Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter is secrecy. Each of the book's central characters: Hester Prynne, Roger Chillingworth, and Arthur Dimmesdale, possess a secret related to his or her identity. Hester hides the truth behind her adulterous affair and shrouds the identity of Pearl's father. However, Hester lives with public scorn, as she has to wear the titular scarlet letter on her breast. Hester's husband Chillingworth directly hides his identity; only Hester knows the truth about the vengeful doctor. hile both Hester and Chillingworth keep their secrets mainly hidden from the public, they nevertheless live much as they would like, within the confines of their secrets. For instance, Hester pursues her embroidery and charity work and humbly accepts her fate. Chillingworth dedicates his new life in America to both being a doctor and to exacting revenge on Hester and her lover. On the other hand, Dimmesdale does not wear his…… [Read More]
The child also sometimes behaves as if she is possessed. Perhaps this is because she is being raised as a "little adult" by her mother. As an only child, she often seems much older than her real age, and this can also seem like she is possessed by an adult to the people around her. These actions frighten both her mother and the townspeople, creating the idea that she is somehow dark and terrifying in their minds. Other critics have also confirmed Pearl's darker side, noting that Hawthorne uses her as a symbol of the darker, devilish spirit the townspeople fear. Critic Alfred eid writes, "The character of Pearl likewise exemplifies Hawthorne's tendency to allegorize spiritual phenomena" (eid 117). Like most people, they see what they see and make it into something they want to believe. Pearl is different, and so she must be evil. It is clear she is…… [Read More]
hile some individuals may believe that it is their right to frolic on the beach or even walk down the street without clothing, society as a whole has decided that this behavior is offensive.
According to Peter Alces, morality is dynamic and may change over time, both from the individual and the group perspective. For example, slavery was once considered acceptable, a societal norm, a necessary economic institution (Alces). Yet, now it is perceived as vile and unnatural. It is considered a shameful era of history. Adultery was once considered a great sin, both for the individual and for society. Hester's adultery caused a woman to cry out, "This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die" (Hawthorne Chapter 2). Today, adultery, while not necessarily condoned, is typically regarded as a private matter.
Thaddeus Metz writes, "rongness admits of degrees...some actions are more wrong than others...There is…… [Read More]
She was a good woman, and she raised a good daughter. She shows how the Puritans also would not accept her because of her mother. This also symbolizes their intolerance, because they blame the child for the sins of the parent, and the child has no chance of redeeming herself. Hawthorne uses a child to make it more clear how intolerant and mean-spirited the Puritans were, and to show her innocence in the matter, but how it affected her, too.
In conclusion, Pearl symbolizes many things in "The Scarlet Letter." She symbolizes her mother's sin, she symbolizes the devil, and she symbolizes the intolerance of the Puritan religion, which would not even accept an innocent child. She is a sad character, because she is affected so much by what her mother did. She cannot escape her mother's sin, and so, she is a constant reminder to her mother that she…… [Read More]
The darkness and fire of Hester stands in contrast with Roger Chillingworth, a harsh, cold judgmental man. His quest for the truth and illumination of Hester's condition becomes an evil quest. hen the reader is fully introduced to him in Chapter 10, the perversion of light is seen as Hawthorne writes of his gaze: "Sometimes a light glimmered out of the physician's eyes, burning blue and ominous, like the reflection of a furnace." The Reverend Dimmesdale, Pearl's true father, can only meet Hester in darkness and night, and vision is given only by a "little glimmering light" by moonlight. Rather than goodness, the knowledge and light of Pearl's parentage cannot survive the fuller light of day. Truth comes in darkness, and the light brings concealment of Hester's secret once again. This constant confusion of light and dark shows how truth and morality are confused in the novel.
Only when Dimmesdale…… [Read More]
Teenage fathers are not similarly sent away, or encouraged to finish their high school educations at schools specifically designed for teenage fathers. Even sexually active teens whose activities have not resulted in pregnancy are able to continue along their educational lives in a normal social fashion, because their 'sin' is not revealed to the adult community in such an obvious fashion.
This sort of irrational attitude towards unwanted sexuality, or regarding it as an infection rather than a natural part of human existence, parallels the Puritan community's treatment of Hester. It is also reflected in contemporary fears of distributing condoms, educating students about birth control, or providing adequate information about how to deal with unplanned sex and pregnancies, like using the 'morning after' pill or abortion. The idea that merely possessing sexual knowledge generates the common, human impulse of sexual desire, and even having the tools to engage in sexually…… [Read More]
Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and "Tess of the D'urbervilles" by Thomas Hardy. Specifically, it will compare and contrast the main characters of each novel. Each of these women is strong and determined, but each of them has also sinned, and in their time, this was a terrible tragedy. Thus, both these women are tragic heroines. They may triumph for a time, but in the end, their lives are tragic and their authors each have a moral lesson for the reader to solve.
Both of these women symbolize the mores and societal constraints of their time, and this is just one of the things that make them tragic heroines. The authors were attempting to show the affect of strict societal restrictions on people of the day, especially women. Only one lives at the end of their tales, but this does not make Hester Prynne any less tragic. Hester and her…… [Read More]
Dimmesdale is often given a pass because he does eventually do the right thing. However, we should not forget that he was by modern terminology, a deadbeat dad. He may have suffered but his suffering was nowhere near the suffering of Hester's. His appearance changes to reflect what Chillingworth is doing to him; he is becoming thinner and weaker with every passing week and this is just the way Chillingworth wants it. hile we might feel sympathy for this man at some point, we should never lose sight of the fact that he could never own up to his sin.
Chillingworth is a man connected to darkness in The Scarlet Letter. From his first mention in the novel, he is a man up to no good and bent on revenge. e read he "strove to go deep into his patient's bosom, delving among his principles, prying into his recollections, and…… [Read More]
strength of Nathaniel Hawthorne as a writer - and the reason that his works still appeal to us today, even when the Puritan world that is so much a part of his stories is utterly gone - is his ability to write on two levels at once. The passage from his most famous work, the Scarlet Letter, that we are considering here is an excellent example: This section of Chapter 19 is simultaneously a straightforward description and also an elaborate weaving of metaphor and symbol. So skilled is his with this kind of double writing that we see both levels of description as perfectly natural and necessary; there is no sense that the literal description is too pedantic or that the symbolic description is contrived or overly elaborate.
This passage marks what is probably Hester Prynne's happiest moment in the book. In this tale of the strictures of Puritan morality…… [Read More]
The Scarlet Letter and the Minister's Black Veil
Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804-1864, is considered one of the great masters of American fiction, with tales and novels that reflect deep explorations of moral and spiritual conflicts (Hawthorne pp). He descended from a prominent Puritan family, and when he was fourteen years old, he and his widowed mother moved to a remote farm in Maine (Hawthorne pp). Hawthorne attended Bowdoin College, 1821-1825, and afterwards devoted himself to writing, publishing his first novel in 1829 (Hawthorne pp). He attempted living at Brook Farm, a community experiment begun by a group of Transcendentalists, but was less than enthusiastic by what he saw as hypocrisy and excessive idealism (Canada pp). In 1842, he married Sophia Peabody, a friend of Ralph aldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, and they settled in Concord (Hawthorne pp). To support them, he took a job…… [Read More]
Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Scarlet letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a sensuous and touching account of a woman named Hester Prynne. It also has a prologue by the title "The Custom house" that briefly prepares the reader for what is to follow. The significance and detail of The Custom house shall be dealt with later in the paper. The underlying subtle criticism of the puritan mindset, profound symbolism and vivid imagery all beautifully woven together in this book make it an asset to the world of American literature.
Scarlet letter is the story of a minister Arthur Dimmesdale who is helplessly in love with Hester Prynne a married woman who comes to America to settle down where her husband in England was supposed to join her later on. Dimmesdale makes love to Hester Prynne and a baby by the name of pearl is born out of this union. As…… [Read More]
But because of her own inner strengths as a woman of character, Hester goes against all of the principles of Puritan society and ends up spoiled and ruined by bigotry and prejudice.
As to the themes found in the Scarlet Letter, it is clear that Hawthorne meant to tell a moral story with Hester Prynne as the main focus. Perhaps Hawthorne was attempting to tell the reader that Hester Prynne, due to her innate compassion and defiance of Puritan law and customs, stands as a literary symbol of non-conformity which in the end of the story causes her to be cast out and admonished for her sins. After all, Hester's physical beauty appears to have created in the eyes of the men in her village a "halo of misfortune and ignominy," two negative traits which "enveloped" her entire inner and outer self, much like the scarlet "A" on her dress.… [Read More]
Modern day movies rarely do justice for the classics. The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne falls into that category. Even Demi Moore could not meet the genius of the original writing. "Demi Moore plays the strong-willed Hester Prynne brilliantly, and Gary Oldman (I want to marry him) turns Reverend Dimmesdale into an extremely complex and passionate character. The love between Hester Prynne and Reverend Dimmesdale lasts throughout the movie with great intensity - all of it rooted in the one amazing love scene which leads to Prynne's pregnancy." (hen Love Becomes Sin) I loved reading The Scarlet Letter much more than the I did seeing the movie and this report is an attempt to explain why I think so highly of the written work.
Nathanial Hawthorne was a writer from Salem, Massachusetts where his famous home, the House of Seven Gables, still stands to this day. Surprisingly, Hawthorne…… [Read More]
Review of the Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850. Hawthorne has been canonized in many literary circles and is widely recognized as one of the most famous writers of American literature. He wrote The Scarlet Letter at the age of 46, at a time in which he lived with his wife in Concord, Massachusetts. Hawthorne belonged to the Transcendentalist school of writers, which included notable New England writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau; this group of writers were less indebted to religion than was common at the time, and preferred to look toward nature and individual thought as sources of wisdom. By the time that The Scarlet Letter was written, Hawthorne was already a well-established writer. He had published his first novel in 1828, a full 22 years before The Scarlet Letter. In this regard, The Scarlet Letter…… [Read More]
The child is closely associated with the original sin and the symbol of it. The scarlet letter was, in fact, one of the first items that caught her eye. "One day, as her mother stooped over the cradle, the infant's eyes had been caught by the glimmering of the gold embroidery about the letter; and, putting up her little hand, she grasped at it, smiling, not doubtfully, but with a decided gleam that gave her face the look of a much older child" (95). Such duality of sin and its symbols foreshadows Hester's eventual empowerment as a result of her punishment and ostracism by the Puritan community. Her life with Pearl is indeed lonely and filled with the challenges of single parenthood, but Hester transcends her misery by employing her own mix of pride, humility, and dignity.
As seven years pass and Pearl becomes a little girl instead of a…… [Read More]
The actual sins are thus not Hester's adultery, but the minister's cowardice and her former husband's plans of revenge. Society as a whole could not help, but act according to the laws one thought fit to protect it from destruction. The community was blind, but not nearly as guilty of sin as the two men in Hester's life. The narrator reminds the reader of the two most important things a new colony was first raising on its new founded ground: a prison and a cemetery. Death and punishment were the two tools that gave people a certainty and the power to believe in their future as a community. That is why, although they are guilty of hypocrisy and prejudice, they are having the excuse of being blinded by their struggle to keep their community alive at all costs.
Hester is the element that seemed to threaten the very existence of…… [Read More]
hen Hester is first alone with Chillingworth, for instance, and in several preceding descriptions, she appears to be undergoing a process of destruction herself. She is immensely ashamed, and very aware of the eyes that dart furtively towards the letter emblazoned on her chest; she is too weak to think straight when Chillingworth administers a medicine to Pearl that could, for all Hester knows, be poison, and she is far too weak to resist Chillingworth's insistence that she keep his secrets.
Hester is the first of the three major characters, however, to make a transition to a stronger and more secure position with herself and with her sin; she has clearly found an inner redemption long before the others. The reason for this is the same as the reason that she is the first, and for the bulk of the book the only, character to acknowledge her sin -- Pearl.…… [Read More]
Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville, and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain. Specifically, it compares and contraststhese three characters in relation to the evil that dominates them, indicate what the attitude of the author is regarding each one, discuss the source of their evil nature or acts, the nature of the evil deeds they commit, and the results of these evil designs.
It will also select the character that should be the most strongly condemned and fully justify why. Each of these novel's characters is dominated by the evil influence of another character, and each of them faces this domination in a different way. Each character grows stronger from this evil influence, and learns how to remove the evil influence from their lives.
Evil is present in all of these novels, and much of each novel's theme revolves around the age-old premise of good…… [Read More]
The objective of this work is to examine Nathaniel Hawthorne's works and to conduct a comparison of the life of Hawthorne to his short stories and to examine how his life and his works paralleled one another.
The life of Nathaniel Hawthorne many times was played out in his stories as his life events and experiences bled forth into his works demonstrating the struggles that the writer faced within himself and his own life. unning through the threads of the stories of Hawthorne is the theme of Puritanism and this is clearly perceived as one reads the stories of Hawthorne entitled "The Scarlet Letter," "The Minister's Black Veil and "The Birthmark." In order to understand Hawthorne's view it is necessary that one understand what Puritanism is, believes, and represents.
Puritanism was first presented in the works of William Tyndale (1495-1536) as well as in the work of…… [Read More]
There is no question that the letter has darkened her future. hen Hester and Dimmesdale are in the forest with Pearl, with see that light is associated with love and hope. e are told, "No golden light had ever been so precious as the gloom of this dark forest . . .Here seen only by her eyes, Arthur Dimmesdale, false to God and man, might be, for one moment true" (188). Goodness and light are associated with Pearl. e read that she is "very brightest little jet of flame that ever danced upon the earth" (95). In contrast, Chillingworth is associated with darkness. One of the most compelling scenes that demonstrates this is at the conclusion of the novel when we are told about the change that had taken place. Chillingworth looses his strength and energy and shriveled away, "like an uprooted weed that lies wilting in the sun" (251).…… [Read More]
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter explores the method of public shaming as a form of legitimate legal sentencing. In the novel, Hester Prynne has an affair with Reverend Dimmesdale. Even though her husband has practically abandoned her and lives in another country, she is punished for what was in Puritan America considered a crime. The punishment reflects Puritanical values related to female sexuality, and reveals ways a patriarchal society controls women's choices by monitoring and controlling their private lives. Given private and domestic spheres were the only realms women had any degree of power, the control over women's sexuality in The Scarlett Letter shows how patriarchy becomes entrenched and immutable. Moreover, the use of public shaming to sentence Prynne serves an overarching function of social control. Religion, a core theme in The Scarlett Letter, is the vehicle of that social control and the law is also used to enforce and…… [Read More]
The only material similarity between Prynne's scarlet "badge" and Faith's pink ribbons is that both are made of cloth and adorn some type of clothing, i.e., Faith's ribbons are part of her cap while Prynne's "badge" is sewn into her dress as needlework.
The reader is first introduced to Prynne's "badge" in Chapter Two of the Scarlet Letter when she emerges from jail -- "On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter a." Upon being led to her "place of punishment" for committing adultery with Arthur Dimmesdale, all eyes are immediately drawn to the scarlet "A" which "had the effect of a spell, taking (Hester) out of the ordinary relations with humanity and enclosing her in a sphere by herself" (ell, 163-164). Obviously, this scarlet emblem upon Hester's dress seems to emit a life…… [Read More]
ere all the literary works of Nathaniel Hawthorne compiled into a single manuscript, then appropriately filtered to include only works of prose and fiction, and if an attempt were then made to uncover a single motif spanning through the vast majority of the remaining text, it would read something like the following. A protagonist is haunted by a vague, strangely preternatural feeling of foreboding and doom that eventually manifests itself physically before mortally claiming its victim. Sadly, but not surprisingly so, this motif could also apply to Hawthorne's life. Despite the fact that the author who many have acclaimed as one of the finest in American history enjoyed a celebrated literary career (with a number of impressive, political boons as well), he was never able to fully surmount all of his 'demons' and enjoy the happiness that should have rightfully been his. Instead, the celebrated author…… [Read More]
Trace the development (or lack) of one of the major characters in the story, from beginning to end.
From the opening of The Scarlet Letter, when Hester Prynne stands alone on a scaffold, condemned by the Salem community, until the end when she stands with Arthur and Pearl on that same scaffold, Hester is a remarkably strong character. Unlike Arthur Dimmesdale, her partner in sin, who appears strong initially but weakens throughout the story, Hester grows even stronger as the story progresses. Hawthorne's early descriptions of Hester are of her physical beauty: she is . . . tall, with a figure of perfect elegance," with "dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine . . ." (Hawthorne, 1334). ithin Hester's proud, haughty bearing when we are first see her, we also glimpse traces of her rebellion and impetuousness (some of which become evident in Pearl), which,…… [Read More]
Hawthorne clearly stepped away from the Puritan ethic by consistently alluding to the existence of the earthly supernatural. Though this was a fear of the Puritans, clearly it was associated with Satan and possession of the living. In Hawthorne's works the supernatural was associated with less grand sources, such as those seen in Young Goodman Brown. (Hoeltje 39-40) Hawthorne allows his characters to explore concepts that would have been those deemed heretical within the Puritan settings of the works.
In The Birth-Mark, Hawthorne associates the active expulsion of character traits of humanity clearly results in the death of the whole.
The line of divergence in "The Birth Mark" is indicated by its name. e all have our birth-marks, -- traits of character, which may be temporarily suppressed, or relegated to the background, but which cannot be eradicated and are certain to reappear at unguarded moments, or on…… [Read More]
Lastly, Roger as the former and unknown husband of Hester has also shown depth in character by assuming the role of both a vengeful and still-caring husband for Hester. In addition to these personalities, Roger has also risen from anonymity to prominence as a physician in the town of Salem. Although Roger was consistently driven by revenge and ill feelings against the lover of Hester, he showed wisdom and righteousness during Hester's prosecution in the marketplace, wherein he was heard remarking, "A wise sentence...thus she will be a living sermon against sin, until the ignominious letter be engraved upon her tombstone." In this instance, Roger was both judgmental and fair in assessing Hester's situation: he was judgmental for he also cursed Hester for her deeds and the outcome of her sinfulness, but he also considered the fact that she was not alone in the commitment of this deed, thus he…… [Read More]
The Widow and Miss Watson see nothing wrong with slavery in modern society, while Huck actually takes actions to end slavery by leading Jim to freedom and treating Jim like a human being.
6. "To be or not to be, that is the bare bodkin."
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Signet, 2002, p. 143.
The Shakespearean 'actors' Jim and Huck befriend are really charlatans, despite their pretence of learning. They cannot even quote William Shakespeare's Hamlet in his "To be or not to be" soliloquy correctly.
7. "He says anyone who doesn't understand the theorems of Euclid is an idiot."
McCourt, Frank. Angela's Ashes. New York: Scribner, 1999, p.151.
The references to Euclid show the disparity between what is taught in Frank's school by an ambitious teacher and the poverty and ignorance of the rest of the boy's life. It also shows the narrow-mindedness of the principal, who…… [Read More]
e cannot look to our circumstances for reasons to do anything wrong. Dimmesdale is no different from the young boy that grows up in an abusive household beating his wife and claiming that he is not responsible because of his environment.
Finally, Dimmesdale's suicide is the ultimate gesture of his weakness. He cannot be honest with those that assume to know him. He claims in these last moments that he withheld his "own heavy sin and miserable agony" (244) and now must let the truth be known. This is a brave move and it would have been even braver to live after confessing. Instead, he takes his own life. Many may assume that he took his own life because of grief and inner turmoil but it makes more sense to assume that he could not live with what he had done and he could not have lived with the kind…… [Read More]
It is difficult to imagine the kinds of unfair discrimination that was wrought against women, witches, and anyone else who did go along with the status quo. However, in inthrop's situation, the matter of survival was so acutely important that a strong-fisted rule was thought to be necessary.
He expresses, more than once, in the trial transcript his fears that the entire colonial civilization could fall over this one woman's outspoken beliefs. Banishment was the only appropriate punishment, since it would remove her from the small, sealed world of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and ensure that she could not sway peoples' minds toward this outrageous idea of grace.
It is almost comical to consider that now, in 2008, we see crowds of Christians waving their hands in the air to feel the grace of God, an experience they believe is attainable simply through their faith. This is the exact kind…… [Read More]
The deep, gloomy forest holds the key to the freedom of the people: here they learn to be themselves again. In the midst of nature, "the yellow leave will show no vestige of the white man's tread." (Hawthorne, (http://www.online-literature.com/hawthorne/scarletletter).oth writers belong to the transcendentalist movement and so their views resemble each other: Emerson's nature is a reflection of the human spirit, while Hawthorne's forest reveals people's true character.
Emerson, R.W.: The American Scholar. Retrieved June 2007, at http://www.bartleby.com/5/101.html
Emerson, R.W.: Nature. Retrieved June 2007, at http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/texts/emerson/nature-emerson-a.html#Chapter%20I
Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter. Retrieved June 2007, at http://www.online-literature.com/hawthorne/scarletletter
Taylor, Judd: Man Thinking: The Nature of Emerson's American Scholar, March 23, 1999. Retrieved June 2007, at http://www.geocities.com/fidelio1st/literature/theamericanscholar.htm
The Town vs. Nature in the Scarlet Letter. Retrieved June 2007, at http://www.studyworld.com/basementpapers/papers/stack34_6.html… [Read More]
Lawrence often compares the mechanistic world of industrialize Britain with the world of nature, and the fecundity and sexuality of the natural world is seen as distorted by the mechanistic world that has developed in this century. In such a comparison, Clifford is on the side of the industrial world, while Connie comes out on the side of the natural world. Yet, this is not what society wants women to be, and yet it is also the reason women were so restricted by society, because they were viewed as dangerous threats to the natural order because of their inherent sexuality.
In Lawrence's conception, living according to nature precludes the possibility of sin, though society may see the issue in a different light. hile one could apply this idea to Hester and Tess as well, their authors clearly do not view the issue in that way, though they do find their…… [Read More]
Hawthorne and Poe, both authors depict women who struggle and suffer at the hands of masculine stereotypes. In Hawthorne's "Rapaccini's Daughter" and The Scarlet Letter, and Poe's "Ligeia" the depiction of women characters illustrates each authors sensitivity to the plight of women in the 19th Century.
Considering that Nathaniel Hawthorne lived and wrote in the radical cultural milieu of Concord, Massachusetts, alongside such women's rights luminaries like Emerson, the Alcott sisters, and of course, Margaret Fuller, it is not surprising to find in his literary works a treatment of women that demonstrates, above all, an immense sensitivity to the plight of women struggling for freedom in a man's world. Yet In both "Rappaccini's Daughter" and The Scarlet Letter, published before and after the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, Hawthorne's women characters suffer because of masculine notions of feminine beauty and character.
In Rappaccini's Daughter" Hawthorne tells a stark tale of…… [Read More]
From a good soldier, he turns into a bad king. He becomes a man who believes the transparent lies of the witches who, along with the urging of his ambitious wife, motivated him to commit the murder of King Duncan.
Hamlet: Hamlet's depressed and uncompromising nature resonates with anyone who has ever been an adolescent. Hamlet is intensely critical of aspects of his society others take for granted, such as King Claudius' right to marry his brother's widow and Old Hamlet's suspect death. Hamlet's criticism can be harsh, and misogynistic as well as misanthropic, but he is an inspiring example for young readers. He urges readers and playgoers today to continually question the morality of their elders and betters, and strike out against the 'smile' or lie that hides the real truth about power in society.
The Scarlet Letter: Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter shows that the appearance of religion without…… [Read More]
Definition of Modernism and Three Examples
Indeed, creating a true and solid definition of modernism is exceptionally difficult, and even most of the more scholarly critical accounts of the so-called modernist movement tend to divide the category into more or less two different movements, being what is known as "high modernism," which reflected the erudition and scholarly experimentalism of Eliot, Joyce, and Pound, and the so-called "low modernism" of later American practitioners, such as William Carlos Williams. Nonetheless, despite the problems of reification involved with such a task, I will attempt to invoke a definitions of at least some traits of modernism, as culled from the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics:
First, [in modernism] "realization" had to replace description, so that instead of copying the external world the work could render it in an image insisting on its own forms of reality... [and] Second, the poets develop…… [Read More]
The various places he stops represent certain alternative futures, and the brothel promises one of pleasure. His ability to resist it -- whether through morality or lack of money -- and continue on his journey is indicative of the revolutionary spirit. The fact that he keeps moving, and keeps searching in new places, matched the movement of the revolution and indeed of the country since then as it goes through its great democratic experiment.
Hawthorne's story is very enjoyable just as a piece of fiction. It is also an interesting historical piece, describing the feel of life in pre-Revolutionary America and the different opinions at various levels of society. These things are brought out in the setting perhaps more than in any other single element of the story. Time and place are incredibly essential to this story; the story is, in fact, about the changing political setting of the American…… [Read More]
Given that slavery and sexism were still pervasive realities in American society in the middle of the nineteenth century, the Scarlet Letter borders on being a radical work.
awthorne also reveals how religion had pervaded Massachusetts Bay society to the extent that public laws reflected Christianity. The idea that Church and State should be separate did not emerge until much later in American consciousness, and by the time awthorne wrote the Scarlet Letter in 1850 the nation had been fully formed and founded on principles far different than those upon which the Massachusetts Bay Colony was: namely, religious plurality was protected in the Constitution. In spite of that, women had few rights in public society. Women were prohibited from voting or holding public office. Adultery and sexual freedom remained taboo, as was homosexuality and mixed-race relations.
The Scarlet Letter would have been received differently by different groups of people and…… [Read More]
Hester Prynne: Courage and Integrity Incarnate
The novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne depicts the struggle of Hester Prynne in attempting to live by the standards set by her own internal guidelines. This creates a great deal of conflict as she is forced to confront the standards set by the Puritan society of Colonial America for what is considered decent behavior. At the opening of the book, so much has already happened: Hester Prynne’s husband (Roger Chillingworth) was shipwrecked and captured by native people—many thought he had unfortunately perished. The town’s religious leader Arthur Dimmesdale offers Hester an understanding ear and shoulder to cry on, but this leads to an affair that results in the birth of Hester’s daughter Pearl, born out of wedlock. Thus, it is very revelatory about these townspeople that they offer Hester very little understanding for the ways that she has suffered. Instead she is…… [Read More]
Humor in Literature
American literature is unique in that the attitudes of the works tend to reflect the spirit of the nation and of her citizens. One of the trademarks of American literature is that authors display a tone that can be very serious, but that also can be interpreted as humorous. hereas texts from other cultures are usually more concerned with message and in presenting that message in a dry, even stoic manner, American literature is uniquely capable of mixing the honest and the humorous. Even in the most serious and earnest stories, the sensibility of American humor can be detected. Of course, there are different types of humor. Some stories are flat-out ridiculous and make the reader laugh. Other stories are more sarcastic in their approach to humor and the funny moments have to be analyzed to be better understood. Still other tales are anecdotal and function as…… [Read More]
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an Eighteenth Century American author who through his works explored the subject of human sin, punishment and guilt. In fact, themes of pride, guilt, sin, punishment and evil is evident in all of his works, and the wrongs committed by his ancestors played a particular dominant force in Hawthorne's literary career, such as his most famous piece, "The Scarlet Letter" (Nathaniel Pp). Hawthorne and other writers of the time, Ralph aldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Herman Melville, looked to the Puritan origins of American history and Puritan styles of rhetoric to create a distinctive American literary voice (Nathaniel Pp).
Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1803. His father, who died when Nathaniel was four years old, was a sea captain and direct descendent of John Hathorne, one of the judges in the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 (Nathaniel Pp). Growing up in seclusion with his…… [Read More]
Chillingworth from the Scarlet Letter with Claggart from Billy Budd
erman Mellville admired Nathaniel awthorne and presented him as the lucky strike of faith for the American literary world. According to Melville, the genius of Shakespeare had found a worthy follower in awthorne. The "villains" in Melville's "Billy Bud" and awthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" are characters that challenge the reader into questioning the deeply ingrained and often pain relieving belief that originally there is something good in every human being. They both embody pure evil in human form, with or without an obvious motivation.
In his "Introduction" to the book "Billy Bud," Cyrus R. K. Patell is placing an emphasis on the importance of the influence Nathaniel awthorne's writings had on erman Melville's literary style and more importantly, on his entire artistic vision. Not surprisingly, the two authors created characters that will forever stand as works of art produced in…… [Read More]
Religion features prominently as a theme in literature. In fact, some of the earliest works of literature are rooted in their religious and cultural traditions, including the ancient literatures of the Middle East and Mesopotamia.
As the role of religion in society changed, so too did the role of religion in literature.
Modern literature, including work by Nathaniel Hawthorne, often offers scathing critiques of religion, whereas postmodern literature allows religion to play a more complex role in shaping individual identity.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's he Scarlett Letter heavily criticizes the role of religion in a patriarchal society, whereas Yann Martel's Life of Pi presents religion more as a subjective phenomenon, revealing an important cultural shift from religion to spirituality.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's he Scarlett Letter, the author shows how religion becomes a tool of social oppression and political control.
A. Hawthorne shows that religious authorities are hypocritical, and especially fundamentalists, as the…… [Read More]
In conclusion, these works all illustrate the changing role of women in 19th century society. At the beginning of the century, women's work was inside the home and raising a family. By the end of the century, Victorian women were attempting to add meaning and fulfillment to their lives. Women in this country were attempting to gain the right to vote, they were forming women's groups and societies, and women like Gilman, Chopin, Wollstonecraft Shelley, and others, were attempting to create their own writing careers, allowing them to be at least partially autonomous and independent. They write of women's struggles for equality and understanding with great knowledge, skill, and perception. They also write of the realities of being a woman in the 19th century. For the most part, women's lives were unfulfilled and controlled by the men around them.
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening, and Other Stories. Ed. Knights, Pamela.…… [Read More]
John Updike & Nathaniel Hawthorne
John Updike and Nathaniel Hawthorne are two of the most well-known writers to have contributed to the body of American Literature. Updike, the more recent writer of the two, has been considered one of America's most prestigious writers, often honored by collegiate bodies and authoritative figures. Likewise, Nathaniel Hawthorne in his time was recognized and respected, having come from a background commanding some respect. Both authors however, during their life struggled with negative issues; Updike for example struggled with separation and health problems that plagued him since he was a child. Hawthorne struggled with his ancestry who embodied a rigid Puritanical belief system, and also struggled with the poverty of his family that he was never quite able to overcome during his lifetime.
The works of both Updike and Hawthorne tend to have some autobiographical notes. Each author draws from experiences within their own lives.…… [Read More]
The information reviewed during the course of this study has clearly illustrated that the precise meaning of the 'F' word is subject to great fluctuation and shift in applied meaning over a period of time and that meanings may experience the affect of cultural shifts in terms of the applied meaning of words such as the 'F' word. The literature reviewed in this study clearly demonstrated that the basic roots of the 'F' word can be found across a range of linguistic derivations being accredited by some to the Germanic Areal linguistics by other to the Viking heritage or Indo-European roots. While this word is one of the three hundred most often used words in the English language, it wasn't until recent decades that this word has been published in reference books and dictionaries in the actual spelled out form of the 'F' word attributed to the lack of ease…… [Read More]
Roots of the Feeling of Moral Superiority in the U.S.
The United States has been criticized in recent years for assuming an air of moral superiority and for trying to impose their opinions on the rest of the world. Even when the tragedy of September 11 happened, some countries were happy to see America suffer. hy would they hate us? Partly it might be because they envy the wealth and freedom that American citizens have. It is also because they think Americans believe they are always in the right, (my country, right or wrong). Did this attitude emerge with the founding fathers? e can see American attitudes to ourselves and also to other countries in non-fiction and fiction of the first two centuries, from the 1770's to the 1970's.
In "Common Sense," 1776, Thomas Paine declared "Neither can ye reconcile Britain and America...The Almighty hath implanted in us these inextinguishable…… [Read More]
Blood by Suzan-Lori Sparks expands on the main theme of society's unfair disregard for its people of low condition in general, for women, and for adulterers. Hester La Negrita, the protagonist, is an African-American woman who struggles to survive in poverty along with her five base-born children. The family's outcast status is portrayed as a direct inducer and accelerator of emotional suffering, poverty, lack of education, and sexual exploitation.
(A) From a structural perspective, In the Blood is constructed in two acts and nine scenes, employing a linear plotline (ush, 2005). In this sense, the play debuts with the equilibrium of Hester striving to provide for her children in meager conditions, the inciting incident represented by the suggestion to seek help from the available former lovers and fathers of her children, the major dramatic question of whether or not she will attain it, the developing action as Hester approaches everend…… [Read More]
Even in Sedgwick's iconoclastic, homoerotic reading, however, it is possible to argue that the moral of The Beast in the Jungle is the same: living in fear of disaster leads to a life without love, whether life is spent separating one's self from others because of fear of losing them, or fear of social censure. The story takes the form of a psychological narrative more than a conventional marriage plot: since it is about a man opting out of conventional social norms, rather than engaging in them. It features Marcher deciding to ignore May's obliquely expressed interest, a few dinners enjoyed by the two of them, and then her eventual demise. Marcher's "imaginative concrete image" of the beast, a metaphor made real, is the most dramatic aspect of the novel (Gottschalk 43).
hile it is possible to use the still-unknown reasons for James' unmarried existence to interpret The Beast in…… [Read More]
when and where does this story take place? The story takes place in a fictional town called Hyde River, a mining town in Clark County, which is in the Pacific Northwest. The time in which it takes place is not specifically mentioned but it would appear to be recently, perhaps in the 1980s.
list two characters that are important in the novel and describe each one.
Harold Bly is basically the local power broker in the town; he is the authority and he knows the secret. Bly is owner of the mining company in Hyde River and he is the one who has the ability to control the fearful and mysterious dragon. He is a strong man who can be brutally vicious when he is angry; at the beginning of the novel is very angry at his wife Maggie for having an affair and he literally threw her into…… [Read More]
Evolution of Prison Life
hat were prisons like, how were prisoners treated and classified through American history -- including prison environments in the last few years? This paper delves into those topics and provides the available literature that validates the points to be made in this essay.
The History of Prisons and Prisoner Life in America
According to author and Professor Jack Lynch, prisons were among the very first public buildings when settlers began to populate and develop the New orld. And there were few long-term punishments that were meted out, and among those were individuals convicted of being "debtors" (Lynch, 2008). The problem with putting the poor in prison because they couldn't pay their debts was that "…they could never earn the money they owed"; but it wasn't until the 1830s that the U.S. began to "…abolish debtor's prisons" (Lynch, 3). Instead of being imprisoned, convicted criminals were forced…… [Read More]
But there is ample evidence, as documented in our recent report that unfettered access to registries can and does lead to extensive harassment and sometimes violence against former offenders (Fellner, 2007).
Highly publicized cases that deal with the abduction, rape, abuse, and murder of young children have led federal and state governments to introduce new laws that require stricter punishments, requirements, and prohibitions for sex offenders. Increasingly rigorous and over-inclusive necessities for sex offenders are almost unanimously accepted and easy for legislators and politicians to support because they are popular among the general public. As Congress passes law after law cracking down on sex offenders, experts and officials question whether the requirements of those acts even work to achieve the goals of legislators (Farley, 2008).
The most recent act, the Adam Walsh Act (AWA), raises many questions as Congress again expands punishments and requirements of sex offenders. The AWA contains…… [Read More]
The impossibility of his situation is made poignant through characters like Eto Minato, a soldier who said "Yes" to service in the U.S. Armed Forces; Bull, another veteran of II; and Taro, Ichiro's own brother. The fact of Ichiro receiving bitter verbal and physical assaults on his body and his identity indicates an important point in Okada's book: these individuals have whole-heartedly accepted the twisted social standards established by the dominant Caucasian society.
If your cultural brethren, other Japanese-Americans you own age, have bought into the racism of the white society, and have begun to practice that hatefulness and bigotry, there is nowhere to hide and no shelter is available. Again, it's impossible now for Ichiro to obtain membership in any particular society. His mother is of no help to his crisis because she is a fanatic Japanese patriot, clinging to the pathetic notion that the Japanese had won the…… [Read More]