Essay, Research Paper: Scarlet Letter 

Literature: Scarlet Letter

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"Confess thy truth and thou shall have eternal rest." I believe that
is the moral to be taught in this novel of inspirational love, yet a novel of
much sorrow. The impossible became possible in The Scarlet Letter, a story set
back in the Puritan Times. In this response, I will give my reactions in writing
to different aspects of the novel; the characters, my likes and dislikes, my
questions, and my opinion of the harsh Puritan lifestyle. Hester Prynne, the
Reverend Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth each suffered guilt in their own
way in the novel The Scarlet Letter. In the beginning of the novel, Hester
Prynne should have not suffered the way she did on the scaffold alone. She was
forced to be intergated by the high-officials of the town, while holding her
little Pearl in arms. Making matters worse, the father of the child was in that
very group of officals. She was then sentenced to wear the scarlet letter
"A", showing her guilt "externally". Unable to take it off,
she was forced to show her guilt to the entire settlement. However, the Reverend
Dimmesdale suffered "internally", with a scarlet letter of his own
engraved in his mind, and on his chest as well. He felt like he betrayed God,
and beat himself in a frenzy to prove his wrongdoing. He often questioned whether
his authority was true or not. Roger Chillingworth suffered the least, because
he only failed to reveal the secret that he knew, the father of the child who
Hester Prynne was forced to live with. This small restriction to his life forced
him to suffer "internally". I had different likes and dislikes in the
novel The Scarlet Letter. There were many things that needed to be judged to fit
into the given catagories, including; character attitudes, and character
decisions. For example, the attitude displayed from the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale
was rather unnapealing to me. There are different ways of settling ones guilt
rather than whipping oneself in a closet. The one character whose attitude was
appealing to me was that of Pearl's. She showed that mistakes in a relationship
often lead to bad situations. Her mischeif and connection to the devil are
examples of just those situations. Character decisions played an euqally
important role. For example, I thought the descision for Hester not to tell who
was the father of Pearl on the scaffold to be very brave, but was wrong. She
could have ended it a lot quicker if she told the truth. A descision that I
supportted was the plan for Hester, the Reverend Dimmesdale and Pearl to leave
town, because it was a way to start a new life. Certain questions came about
when reading The Scarlet Letter. Many of them involved small details. . For
example, why did Hester not tell her daughter at a younger age what the
"A" embroidered on her clothes meant? Why did the minister wear
elaborate garments when conducting his self-punishment in the closet? However,
other questions were involving larger situations. Why did the minster keep quiet
when he knew he wouldn't live for much longer? What made Hester finnally remove
her scarlet letter (for a short period of time)? The Puritanic age was a harsh
and brutal period of time. At many times, citizens had no rights whatsoever. The
persecuted depended on the fate of the few elite, or the top officials of town.
Their laws were srict regaurding having a child out of wedlock, and if not
followed, a scarlet letter "A" would place itself upon that person(s).
My thoughts on the whole Puritanic epoch are not sympothetic. The strict rules
set guildlines and formed a society in which much of it had no problems. I would
even think that if applied to currnet times, it would turn society around

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