His knowledge of their beliefs and his admiration for their strengths were balanced by his concerns for their rigid and oppressive rules.
In an extended introduction, Hawthorne describes his employment in the Salem Custom House, and how he purportedly found an old document and a piece of cloth embroidered with the letter "A" in a pile of old papers. This fictitious document being the germ of the story that Hawthorne writes, as follows.
In Junein Puritan Boston, Massachusetts, a crowd gathers to witness the punishment of Hester Prynne, a young woman who has given birth to a baby of unknown parentage. She is required to wear a scarlet "A" on her dress when she is in front of the townspeople to shame her. The letter "A" stands for adulteress, although this is never said explicitly in the novel.
Her "punishment" because adultery was illegal at the time is to stand on the scaffold for three hours, exposed to public humiliation, and to wear the scarlet "A" for the rest of her life.
As Hester approaches the scaffoldmany of the women in the crowd are angered by her beauty and quiet dignity. When demanded and cajoled to name the father of her child, Hester refuses.
As Hester looks out over the crowd, she notices a small, misshapen man and recognizes him as her long-lost husband, who has been presumed lost at sea. He chooses a new name, Roger Chillingworth, to aid him in his plan.
After she returns to her prison cell, the jailer brings in Roger Chillingworth, a physician, to calm Hester and her child with his roots and herbs.
He and Hester have an open conversation regarding their marriage and the fact that they were both in the wrong. Her lover, however, is another matter and he demands to know who it is; Hester refuses to divulge such information.
He accepts this, stating that he will find out anyway, and forces her to hide that he is her husband. Following her release from prison, Hester settles in a cottage at the edge of town and earns a meager living with her needlework, which is of extraordinary quality.
She lives a quiet, somber life with her daughter, Pearl, and performs acts of charity for the poor. The shunning of Hester also extends to Pearl, who has no playmates or friends except her mother. As she grows older, Pearl becomes capricious and unruly. Her conduct starts rumours, and, not surprisingly, the church members suggest Pearl be taken away from Hester.
Hester, hearing rumors that she may lose Pearl, goes to speak to Governor Bellingham. With him are ministers Wilson and Dimmesdale. Tormented by his guilty conscience, Dimmesdale goes to the square where Hester was punished years earlier.
Climbing the scaffold, he admits his guilt but cannot find the courage to do so publicly. Several days later, Hester meets Dimmesdale in the forest and tells him of her husband and his desire for revenge. She convinces Dimmesdale to leave Boston in secret on a ship to Europe where they can start life anew.
Renewed by this plan, the minister seems to gain new energy. On Election Day, Dimmesdale gives what is called one of his most inspired sermons. Later, most witnesses swear that they saw a stigma in the form of a scarlet "A" upon his chest, although some deny this statement.
Chillingworth, losing his will for revenge, dies shortly thereafter and leaves Pearl a substantial inheritance. After several years, Hester returns to her cottage and resumes wearing the scarlet letter.
When she dies, she is buried near the grave of Dimmesdale, and they share a simple slate tombstone engraved with an escutcheon described as: Major theme[ edit ] This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed.
This combination of "dreaminess" and realism gave the author space to explore major themes. But it also results in knowledge — specifically, in knowledge of what it means to be immoral. For Hester, the Scarlet Letter is a physical manifestation of her sin and reminder of her painful solitude.Ornate, Formal, Thorny, Biblical, Shadowy, Comma-Loving.
Get out your passports: Hawthorne's style is so strange to our modern ear that . Hawthorne’s Motives for Writing the Scarlett Letter Essay.
Categories. Free Essays; Tags. Hawthorne’s motivations for composing The Scarlet Letter were to expose corruptness in Puritan society. faith. and political relations. Hawthorne demonstrates both corruptness and lip service in Puritan society as the townsfolk and even the Governor.
Hawthorne’s Motives for Writing the Scarlett Letter Essay. Categories. Free Essays; Tags. Hawthorne’s motivations for composing The Scarlet Letter were to expose corruptness in Puritan society.
faith. and political relations. Hawthorne demonstrates both corruptness and lip service in Puritan society as the townsfolk and even the Governor.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter Essay Words | 6 Pages the portrayal of The Scarlet Letter’s Pearl, Nathaniel Hawthorne argues for the importance of individuality, the supremacy of nature over civilization, and the wisdom of children.
The Scarlet Letter shows his attitude toward these Puritans of Boston in his portrayal of characters, his plot, and the themes of his story. The early Puritans who first came to America in founded a precarious colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts. A summary of Themes in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Scarlet Letter and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.