A Summary Of The Novel 'the Scarlet Letter' Written By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1266 words - 5 pages

This document is a summary of the novel 'The Scarlet Letter' written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the mid-Nineteenth century, howeverit is regarded by many as a classic today. The Scarlet Letter is a tale of human tragedy, which attempts to convey a moral. It was well researched and apparently portrays the era of Puritanism accurately. In fact, the setting for the story is described in great detail in the first chapter. This book is preceded by a long essay entitled 'The Custom House' which describes in excruciating detail him finding foolscap sheets and a scarlet letter 'A' which gave him the idea to write the novel. There is very little linking in this long, drawn out essay that has anything to do with the rest of this book. The backbone of the Scarlet Letter is its main characters.The CharactersThe main character of this book, Hester Prynne, was supposedly the heroine of the story. It was her who at the beginning of the book was found guilty of having a child by someone who is not her husband. She is forced to go to prison, and wear a scarlet 'A' on her clothing for the rest of her life, so that she may be judged wherever she goes. It'sobvious that the author wanted to portray Hester as somewhat of a victim, which is partially the case.Arthur Dimmesdale was the pastor at the church that Hester attendedas well as the father of her child. Until much later in his life, he convinced Hester to not name him as the father of her child. In typicalfashion, his justification for this is that he feels that it will look bad for his church if his personal misdeeds became public knowledge. He becomes physically ill later in the book because of his immense guilt for his supposed misdeed.Pearl, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale's daughter, appearsthroughout the book. She is described as intelligent and inquisitive. Sheis also mischievous which many people conveniently conclude indicatesthat she is a demon offspring, and a living manifestation of sin.Where as the most overtly sinful person in the book, Roger Chillingworth, marrying Hester Prynne when she did not love him, and expecting her to be faithful when his whereabouts were unknown. While talking to Hester in prison, he admits this.Though the range of characters in this book is diverse, the chieffault is that when speaking all characters sound essentially the same. I suspect it is the same manner in which Hawthorne speaks. All adult characters in this book are alike in that they are unthinking zombies. In the time of 'manifest destiny' and other crimes against humanity, whereyou should be put to death against any infraction of their crutch, the scriptures, unless of course the victim of this infraction was not of European descent, it is surprising that no one spoke up against atrocitiesthat were committed daily. The 'sin' of adultery was seen as a terrible,shameful thing by all parties involved. However, I see it as Hester's right and moral duty as she was forced to commit herself to someone shedid not...

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