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This Essay Is About How The Controversies In "The Scarlett Letter" Are Still Current Today

879 words - 4 pages

Megan NoonanSeptember 30th, 2007Mod EThe Scarlet LetterThe timeless novel The Scarlet Letter written by 19th century author Nathaniel Hawthorne is a great example of relevant literature. The Scarlet Letter presents issues of eternal meaning in American society. Hawthorne portrays the controversial topic of adultery, its dark and light side, and the double standard put on women that has not only been relevant today, but four hundred years ago as well.Adultery has a wide range of emotion, it can be beautiful, and it can be miserable. Hawthorne sets many obstacles for the main character, Hester Prynne, to accomplish, such as the difficulty of being a single parent to a deviant child, and the fact that without Pearl, Hester would be all alone. Adultery can be beautiful if is sought out in a different perspective. Although adultery is risqué, lustful, and done behind closed doors, Hester's situation was different. She went into a relationship as a lonely woman whose husband abandoned her in a foreign country where she knew no on. When Hester gave birth to Pearl, she became the center of Hester's world. There is no excuse for adultery, because in the end, someone is left hurt and the sacred commitment is left shattered. In today's society, adultery is still highly frowned upon just as much as it was in the 17th century, yet when a life comes out of the indecent activity, the result created something so precious. "The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers - stern and wild ones - and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss" (Hawthorne, 140). Pearl is Hester's bitter-sweet gift because although she was shunned and lost her husband out of her wrong doing, Pearl becomes Hester's one and only companion and that is enough for her.There are numerous occasions when a person will come across someone who was raised, or is currently being raised by a single parent, and the majority of single parents are mothers. Hester raises Pear by herself and she is forced to keep the father's name a secret. She is ostracized in the town whilst Dimmesdale is living life as a normal citizen as if he knows nothing of Pearl's existence. Hester is forced to live with the guilt of having committed adultery, and hold a secret from everyone, even her daughter, all the while, Dimmesdale is free from all the harassment and discrimination Hester faces as a single mother. In society today, if a woman becomes pregnant out of wedlock or commits adultery, the husband is excepted to...

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