Critical essay over the scarlet letter

Generally speaking, a symbol is something used to stand for something else. In literature, a symbol is most often a concrete object used to represent an idea more abstract and broader in scope and meaning — often a moral, religious, or philosophical concept or value. Symbols can range from the most obvious substitution of one thing for another, to creations as massive, complex, and perplexing as Melville's white whale in Moby Dick.

Critical essay over the scarlet letter

As the novel proceeds, Hawthorne presents several questions that are left unanswered. How does the nature of the letter "A" seem to change? How does the letter "A" come to be seen as a symbol of the mysterious connection between human experiences sinful in nature and a kind of wisdom that would be impossible without failure?

Actually, the passionate moment between Hester and Arthur that the whole book is centered around was left out. Hawthorne relies more on the emotional and psychological drama that surrounds Hester, than action.

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

Hester is physically described in the first scaffold scene as a tall young woman with a "figure of perfect elegance on a large scale. Contrast this with her appearance after seven years of punishment for her sin.

Her beautiful hair is hidden under her cap; her beauty and warmth are gone, buried under the burden of the elaborate scarlet letter on her bosom.

When she removes the letter and takes off her cap in Chapter 13, she once again becomes the radiant beauty of seven years earlier. Symbolically, when Hester removes the letter and takes off the cap, she is, in effect, removing the harsh, stark, unbending Puritan social and moral structure.

Hester is only to have a brief respite, however, because Pearl angrily demands she resume wearing the scarlet "A". With the scarlet letter and her hair back in place, "her beauty, the warmth and richness of her womanhood, departed, like fading sunshine; and a gray shadow seemed to fall across her.

Critical essay over the scarlet letter

What we do know about Hester from the days prior to her punishment is that she came from a "genteel but impoverished English family" of notable lineage.

She married the much older Roger Chillingworth, who spent long hours working on his books and experiments; yet she convinced herself that she was happy.

When they left Amsterdam for the New World, he sent Hester ahead, but then he was reportedly lost at sea, leaving Hester alone among the Puritans of Boston. Officially, she is a widow. While not a Puritan herself, Hester looked to Arthur Dimmesdale for comfort and spiritual guidance.

Somewhere during this period of time, their solace becomes passion and results in the birth of Pearl. Which brings up the question: She was still married to Chillingworth, but she was in love with Dimmesdale.

Despite her lonely existence, Hester somehow finds an inner strength to defy both the townspeople and the local government.

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

This defiance becomes stronger and will carry her through later confrontations with both Chillingworth and Governor Bellingham. When the governor determines to take Pearl away from her, Hester says, "God gave me the child! He gave her in requital of all things else, which he had taken from me Ye shall not take her!

I will die first! I will not give her up!Since its publication in , The Scarlet Letter has never been out of print, nor indeed out of favor with literary critics.

It is inevitably included in listings of the five or ten greatest. The Scarlet Sin: Analyzing Secrets in The Scarlet Letter Whether intentional or not, keeping secrets is part of human nature. Be it a small and embarrassing habit, or even a brief moment of breaking the law, some things find it best to leave personal acts that they deem deviant out of day to day conversation.

The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Scarlet Letter Homework Help Questions. In The Scarlet Letter, why is Pearl often compared to an elf?

An important part of Pearl's character is the way that she is developed as being somehow. Critical Essay: “The Scarlet Sin: Analyzing Secrets in “The Scarlet Letter”” The Scarlet Sin: Analyzing Secrets in The Scarlet Letter Whether intentional or not, keeping secrets is part of human nature.

In the essay " Bourgeois Sexuality and the Gothic Plot in Wharton and Hawthorne" in Hawthorne and Women, Monika Elbert links Hester Prynne to Gothic elements in The Scarlet Letter and explores how Hawthorne desexes Hester by making her "shadowlike" and ghostly.

In the essay " Bourgeois Sexuality and the Gothic Plot in Wharton and Hawthorne" in Hawthorne and Women, Monika Elbert links Hester Prynne to Gothic elements in The Scarlet Letter and explores how Hawthorne desexes . Since its publication in , The Scarlet Letter has never been out of print, nor indeed out of favor with literary critics. It is inevitably included in listings of the five or ten greatest. The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Critical Analysis: The Scarlet Letter - Essay