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The Scarlet Letter: Desire Of Freedom.

1788 words - 7 pages

The Scarlet Letter: Desire of Freedom.Freedom is not easily granted to people whose lives have been filled with the guilt of sin. In order to live a life free from a guilty conscience, one must suffer from their sins and wear their own mark of shame. This mark serves as a catalyst for personal transformation and the character is either strengthened by the experience or the character meets their demise. Everyone desires to live a life free from the morose and nefarious ways of sin, but in order to do this they must clear their conscience. In the Romance novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the personal transformation is evident in the rigid and unforgiving Puritan town of Boston. This transformation is evident through the use of irony, symbols, and imagery. Hawthorne explores how difficult it is to thrive with a guilty heart and an immense amount of confusion.Hawthorne used a capacious amount of symbols in The Scarlet Letter. One such symbol was the meteor at the second scaffold scene. The scaffold was usually a place of ignominy but it became a place of concealment when Reverend Dimmesdale climbed it that one night. The night symbolized his pain and his darkening life. As Dimmesdale held hands with Hester and Pearl that night he was flooded with a new sense of life. He began to feel that he had a purpose in life still. As he saw the meteor dart across the sky, he felt that the meteor symbolized his personal need to bear his own mark of shame. In a sense, when he witnessed the meteor he felt that his life was changing. He felt that the "A" that it traced across the night sky illuminated his true sins. He realized that he was going to have to confess if he wanted to finally feel free from his wrong doings and to live a life happily with Hester and Pearl. That night Dimmesdale left one of his gloves on top of the scaffold. The next day after he had given the most powerful sermon of his life, he was confronted by Reverend Wilson who said, "A pure hand needs no glove to cover it!"(Hawthorne 145). Dimmesdale realized that he was not pure and was not free from sin and that he too would have to wear his own mark of shame. He was hiding a guilty heart and knew that he wouldn't be able to be free of this guilt until he had confessed. Another symbol in The Scarlet Letter was that of Hester's daughter Pearl who was the remnant of her mother's sin. Pearl is the symbol of the living version of her mother's sin. She was both a blessing and a punishment to her mother. She stood for the sins of both Hester and Reverend Dimmesdale. She also was a pariah to society. "Mother and daughter stood together in the same circle of seclusion from human society"(Hawthorne 87). Pearl also said "I have no Heavenly Father!(Hawthorne 90). Her lack of faith was justified by the fact that she relied on her mother's letter for guidance. She wasn't able to function without her mother's letter. When she forced her mother to put her letter back on in the forest she was...

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