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Unity: Impossibly Fantastic Or Fantastically Impossible

1362 words - 6 pages

Classically, the genre of romantic writing involves the anticipatory enmeshment of the lives of two lovers and, to their misfortune, their acts of infidelity and deceit. Led to popularity by the author himself, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a prime example of early romanticism. Through the unforeseen lives of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale, the catastrophic forthcomings that inevitably occur within a hidden romantic relationship unfold, leading the individuals to a singular outcome. After permanently establishing their relationship through their little Pearl, the duo both delve into their own unique forms of self-punishment under the impression that it will allow for reconciliation and, as a result, brew a more hopeful future. Disregarding their motives towards bettering themselves, Roger Chillingworth barrages the unpredictable pair with heavy questioning and a weighty presence as he searches for the true identity of Pearl’s father. In due time, the lover’s furtive values vanish, and the craving to profess their sins in tandem prevails as the rightful replacement. Living under the classification of vastly dissimilar societal positions, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale arrive at an identical fate through their different paths.
Demonstrating their mutually derivative necessity to maintain secrecy and nurture unhappiness in their independent lives, Hester and Dimmesdale utilize different, unconventional methods as sources to cope with their sin-tainted hearts. Upon “the very day when Hester Prynne first wore her ignominious badge,” Dimmesdale begins his fatal seven year journey of self-defeat “by extracting hideous torture upon himself” (Hawthorne 211). Unfortunately, beyond all fathomable fantasies, Dimmesdale’s greatest intention with imposing wanton scarring onto his body is to achieve serenity, under the pretexts that it would eradicate the hefty weight sinful from his conscience. However, in doing so, Dimmesdale intensifies the dissimilarities between Hester and himself which further extenuates their paths from one another in the eyes of the same civilian people who will later unite the pair in memory. Due to his pious repute, the Boston townspeople maintain a longstanding misinterpretation of Dimmesdale’s practices, but eventually, through his own confession, gain the awareness that although “it [is] his custom, too, as it has been that of many other pious Puritans, to fast,” he differs in reason because his purpose is “an act of penance…wherewith he [tortures], but [can] not purify himself” (120). Contradicting his previous behaviors, Dimmesdale’s final deed of publically acknowledging his sin signifies his conclusive effort in search of a soothing tactic that would allow him to maintain secrecy. In revealing his true guilt to the public, Dimmesdale is making a substantial effort towards unifying himself with Hester, which influences the Boston people’s ultimate decision to lay the pair together in death. Similarly,...

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