Hawthone's Thought In The Scarlet Letter

2109 words - 8 pages

Essay Writing in EnglishUndergraduates Grade 2008------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Academic ThesisHAWTHONE'S THOUGHT IN THE SCARLET LETTERBy Lorettax英美文学简史课程January 17,2010Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of the most outstanding romantic novelists in American in the 19th century, whose works mostly describe and life tragedy under Calvinistic pressure by the cruel clericalism domination in the colonial period. Hawthorne was born in a declining aristocratic family in Salem, Massachusetts, New England. Salem, his hometown, has ever been the place where Puritanism forces are rampant and several generations of his ancestor are fanatic Puritans; therefore, the rich Puritanism thought infiltrated from his family has deep-rooted effect on Hawthorne. Hawthorne's thought was full of contradictions. In his days, American capitalism was developing rapidly, and the social structure was changeable. He couldn't understand this change, and tried to explain it by discovering the" hidden evil" in everyone's heart because of the influence of Puritanism. Later he was influenced by transcentalism. Also he believed there is an intangible spirit world behind the objective world, and explored the possible intersection between reality and illusion. He used symbolism and imagination, which made his works full of mystical color.The novel Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne probes into the problems of religious ethics and morality by the background of New England Religion. In The Scarlet Letter, there are four main characters: Hester.Prynne, Pearl, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth. Hester was a strong willed girl. When still young, she didn't know what love is and married Chillingworth. Later her husband disappeared inexplicably when Hester moved to New England in her loneliness; she fell in love with Dimmesdale, the young and handsome clergyman. Because she conceived a baby, her secret love was exposed and was put into prison and was forced to wear a scarlet letter"A"on her clothes all her life which means"Adultery". Finally Hester won people's love and respect through her hard work and honesty and bravery.The Scarlet Letter reveals the"evil"in people's hearts. Hawthorne depends on his imagination and special plot to describe the natural and supernatural world, which makes the novel full of romantic color and mystical atmosphere, and gives the novel a fresh and peculiar charm.In The Scarlet Letter, while Hawthorne gave a sharp repudiation to religious asceticism, he didn't deny Christianity. Dimmesdale and Hester are typical Hawthorne's characters who did good deeds to people while they were burdened with sin. This accord with Puritanism that believes that man is evil, but can do good deeds to get rid of evil in his heart. Hester did not leave New England, not only because of her lover, but because of her religious belief that...

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