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The Scarlet Letter Essay

2053 words - 8 pages

The Scarlet Letter is a romantic story that depicts the consequences of not being true to yourself. It shows that even though others may not agree with your choices, if you know what truly makes you happy, seize it. Do not be afraid of the conflicts you may encounter along the way. Hester and Dimmesdale's affair is a prime example of this. Their struggles to make it, and the outcome of the story shows that there is a greater consequence for depriving oneself of true love than proclaiming that love from the beginning.There were four main characters in this book. They are Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, Pearl, and Roger Chillingworth. Hester, the adulteress, has an affair and bares a child. As her punishment and to remind her of her sin daily, Hester is forced to wear a scarlet "A" on her bosom. Dimmesdale is the highly respected reverend of the community. He has the affair with Hester and becomes the father of Pearl. He experiences internal torture throughout the entire book and eventually dies from it.Hester's daughter Pearl, also referred to as the elf-child or imp, is the result of the affair between Hester and Dimmesdale. Although she does not know that Dimmesdale is her father, she is drawn to him. Many people believe she is possessed because she loves mischief and disrespects authority. Finally, there is Chillingworth. He is Hester's real husband who comes to the Puritan society as a great doctor and aids Dimmesdale. He is an evil man who dedicates the rest of his life to getting revenge on Pearl's father.All of these actions take place in a Puritan society in Boston, Massachusetts. This society is extremely strict and although they may not see themselves this way, the Puritan people are very condemning. There is a constant struggle to be perfect in a world which makes this goal impossible. It is when one desires to be true to himself, that we begin to hear of the secrets and betrayal.The cottage by the sea is where Hester and Pearl move after Hester's long prison term. Hester steadily works here as a popular seamstress and also passes down her talents to Pearl. The mother and daughter spend much valuable time together in this home.The last important setting is the scaffold. Although only a short amount of time is spent here, it is definitely where the most intense scenes occur. This is the place where all the main characters are revealed and their sins are made known to the community.The first scaffold scene is presented in Chapter 2 and also begins this story.Holding baby Pearl close to her bosom, Hester emerged from the prison door and was led through crowds of angry men and women. The crowd became even more harsh when Hester revealed her scarlet "A" which was described as elaborate and artistically done. The people felt that it almost was a thing of pride instead of punishment. She made her way into the market place and stood on the town scaffold. Hester then began to think about the different events in her life but soon went back to...

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