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Excellent Work On The Scarlet Letter, With A Christian Based Theme. Term Paper, Very Long, Suitable For Thesis, Etc.

3273 words - 13 pages

Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is one of the best examples of his work. He worked nine hours a day for six months to churn out this nice piece of literature, possibly one of America's greatest novels. The writing of this book marked a phase shift in Hawthorne's life. The end of the short-story phase and the real beginning (his first novel, Fanshaw was a failure) of the novel phase was an inevitable consequence spawned through The Scarlet Letter. During his novel phase he wrote two other books, neither of which could surpass The Scarlet Letter. The Scarlet Letter is often called a "romance" about Puritan America. Taking place in The Massachusetts Bay Colony, the story unfolds over a time span of about seven years. Hawthorne's ancestry in the Puritan era (one of his ancestors was a judge in the Salem witchcraft trials) greatly influenced his book, and he was very convicted about his Puritan heritage, which is very evident throughout the novel. When analyzing The Scarlet Letter, one must consider its characters and their relationships to each other, the major themes and writing style Hawthorne uses, and the symbols, morals, and underlying meanings scattered through the book.There are three scaffold scenes in the story that serve as milestones for beginning middle and end. These scenes provide both a literal meaning in the story as well as a symbolic one. The symbolic meaning will be discussed later. For the literal meanings, the first scaffold scene takes place in the very beginning. This scene describes the public humiliation of Hester on the scaffold. This scene also serves as an introduction to the problem faced by Hester and the general premise of the story. The second scaffold scene, which is roughly in the middle of the story, takes place on the scaffold at night. This scene demonstrates the guilt faced by Dimmesdale and also symbolizes his stubbornness in that he still is trying to hide his sin by doing it at night. The third and final scaffold scene brings the story to its climax. In this scene Dimmesdale finally confesses his sin and all is done and said. During this scene there is a dramatic dialogue that takes place involving Dimmesdale, Hester, and Pearl. This is where the family finally unites but then Dimmesdale dies. Hawthorne uses a lot of foreshadowing with the scaffold scenes. Each scaffold scene kind of hints at what will take place in the next third of the book.The first fifty or so pages center in on the "Custom House", which will be elaborated on later, but the beginning of the story opens with a description of a prison door. The pink rose bush outside the door is of little relevance until later in the story. The whole book revolves around a woman named Hester and her illegitimate child, Pearl in addition to the letter "A" she wears on her chest. The beginning scaffold scene starts off with Hester's procession to the scaffold for public humiliation where she wears the golden embroidered "A". She is holding pearl in...

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