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Comparing The Scarlet Letter And The Scarlet Letter And One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

757 words - 3 pages

A work of literature may be defined as a classic because it

promotes deep insight into human behavior.  Both The Scarlet Letter, by

Nathaniel Hawthorne, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey give

a reader a complete understanding of what is going on inside of the heads

of the characters.  This insight into the characters can be used as a

general insight into human behavior.  One insight is that a person's

physical abilities can be controlled by their mental awareness and stat e

of being.  Another is that they see themselves in relation to those around



        In The Scarlet Letter, a reader is presented with the feelings of

Chillingworth, Hester's (the main character) husband, and Dimmesdale

(Hester's partner in adultry), as they are destroyed mentally as well as

physically.  Chillingworth is afraid of being dishonored by being known as

the husband of a whore.  He also wants revenge on Dimmesdale for corrupting

Hester.  His thoughts are read by the reader, and his actions represent the

fiendish ways that have overcome him.  The way he torment s Dimmesdale is

seen when he acts as his physician.  Chillingworth knows that Dimmesdale

was the father of Pearl, Hester's daughter.  But he wants to torment and

take revenge on the Reverend Dimmesdale, who suddenly became sick.

Chillingworth uses his knowledge of the human mind and of medicine to

deduce that Dimmesdale's sickness lay not in his body, but in his mind:  He

was holding a secret, a deep, dark, secret, that was destroying him.  By

asking Dimmesdale if he were hiding something, Chillingworth angered

Dimmesdale and tried to torment him.  This insight into human behavior,

that one's physical attributes can be determined by a mental condition,

makes The Scarlet Letter a classic.


        Ken Kesey gives an excellent insight into human behavior in One

Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, in a similar way to that in The Scarlet

Letter.  Through Chief Bromden, a patient at the mental ward, Kesey shows

how one sees him/herself in relatio n to others and how the way that he/she

sees him/herself can affect his/her physical abilities. The Chief had

thought that he was...

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