(1)The Different Degrees Of Suffereing In Nathanial Hawthorn's The Scarlet Letter.

1223 words - 5 pages

Hidden Guilt Inflicts SufferingWithout sin there would be no suffering. This is a moral law that applies mentally, socially, spiritually, and physically to the suffering that is put upon the characters of The Scarlet Letter through sin. The dolor that is found in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is respectively from Dimmesdale's and Hester's sin and Ironically, Dimmesdale is the one who eventually is agonized by this sin the most. In the story, Hawthorne puts Dimmesdale in the same moral position concerning social judgment, guilt, and suffering as the minister found in The Ministers Black Veil. These two characters both reflect Hawthorne's position on these same subjects.Ancestral guilt is a foremost issue that which Hawthorne has used to mark his position on despondency, social judgment, and guilt. The position Hawthorne takes on these facets are reflected by the problems characters in his writings encounter as well. Philosophies and themes portrayed by characters in his writings are usually exactly the same as the position Hawthorne obtains. According to the minister from The Ministers Black Veil, only God has the true right to hear mans confessions and judge his or her sins. Therefore, by believing this, the minister inflicted great pain and depression upon himself because he cannot morally live with his sins due to his hidden guilt. The fact that the minister's guilt is hidden from society is also a key reason why his anguish is so dramatic. These themes drawn forth from the ministers black veil are symbolisms of hawthorns position on suffering, social judgment, and guilt and also appear in The Scarlet Letter.The character in The Scarlet Letter who most likely suffers the least is Pearl. Even though Pearl is symbolized as her mother's sin, she is not really affected to greatly in the sense of pain and misery. The kind of disquietude Pearl encounters the most is primarily social. She does in fact encounter some mental and spiritual suffering too, but this is at a very minimal level compared to other characters. Pearl experiences her social discomfort mainly through her mother Hester who is publicly ridiculed from day to day. Standing next to her mother on the scaffold during the public scathing and humiliation must have been very difficult for Pearl because she was at such a young age. The fact that pearl was so young and innocent at the time actually must have also decreased the amount of suffering she could have retained. The rest of Pearls social suffering is also found through her mother's inhumane treatment but is minimal when compared to her. From time to time Pearl also experienced a degree of mental and spiritual confusion. Throughout her childhood pearl was very confused about who her father was. At one time pearl even said "I have no heavenly father" (The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne 63). This shows some of the frustration that pearl had about who she was and who she was supposed to be. Even though Pearl underwent some amount of social,...

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