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Novels As A Replacement For Experiences

522 words - 3 pages

Alexander Solzhenitsyn once said, "Good literature substitutes for an experience we have not ourselves lived through." At times when we read a work of literature, it may seem as though we are taken from reality to the location of the character and allowed to connect and have a great understanding of whatever experience the author put the characters through. This is true in the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne titled The Scarlet Letter. Although the story did tell of experiences had by certain characters and gave us some insight of what it may be like go through what they went I would have to partly disagree with the ...view middle of the document...

The novel does bring out many experiences and emotions, some having to do with secrecy, confession and revenge among other things. To get the one-sided substitute experiences you must sympathize with one of the characters in the story. Had you connected with Hester Prynne, you might be able to see just how difficult it might be to be ostracized by your town and you had to wear a scarlet letter your entire life there. If you connected with Dimmesdale you may begin to see how it feels to be the target for revenge and having to feel great guilt and shame for something you did. Finally if you connected with Chillingworth you would get an idea of how evil someone can be and how they show no remorse because they were angry someone crossed them. Each one of the experiences you might happen to feel can give you a small idea of what each is like, and though some may feel this is good enough then experiencing it on your own. However I don't believe it should.There are many books out there with just as many experiences as The Scarlet Letter, that are considered to be one of the greatest novel written. Each one can offer you an insight to an experience but I think the authors thought they would only temporarily hold you until you could have an experience of it yourself. The experiences described in books may become so realistic but that doesn't mean one shouldn't try to have the experience.

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