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Study On "The Scarlet Letter" Essay

1726 words - 7 pages

(1) It is often said that we become what we choose to be. This statement indeed goes down very well with me. I feel a person does ultimately become; if not completely or in full measure, but at least very substantially, what he chooses to be in life. The apt choices made at the opportune moments, coupled with the courage to take due responsibility and acceptability for those decisions, is what I believe most strongly governs that person`s course of destiny. This fact could not have been manifested any better than in "The Scarlet Letter".In the way of three very striking characters "“ the adulteress Hester Prynne, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and the physician Roger ...view middle of the document...

The entire plot thickens when her husband miraculously returns from nowhere, to this not-so-pleasant homecoming. On conceiving and then on giving birth to Pearl, her decision to (2) withhold the name of her lover from her husband and the strict puritan society was the very cause of the great retribution and intense public shame she bore alone for seven long years. The good Reverend seemingly got free. The butt of shame and ridicule for many years, she bore it up very courageously. Moreover through hard work, devotion and love she brought up her little daughter Pearl, who, through no fault of her own, was destined to live a tainted life.The sins of the parents are oft visited upon the it is said.After all these years of pious, exceedingly sober living, the next choice she makes is an unprecedented twist in the chain of events. She cannot live to see how her one-time husband and now personal physician of Rev. Dimmesdale, Dr. Roger Chillingworth, through devious practices guided by revenge, is busy rekindling feelings of guilt in his patient and guiding him to his end. She finally decides to meet with Arthur and there ensues a very touching discussion between the two on past happenings, where for the first time they empty their hearts out to one another. Deciding that they have lived in shame, guilt and fear for too long they plan to leave by the earliest boat for Europe to start a new life there. For the only time in the story Hester discards the scarlet letter on her chest and Arthur is freed of his old woes.After he delivered what would arguably be the most powerful sermon in his life on the annual election day, Arthur came out of the church and there, in front of the tumultuous multitude that considered him a saint, confessed everything. He spoke at great length of what a cowardly sinner he was, how he had been burning with inner guilt all these years and how he had lived in deceit and deception. Having begged for forgiveness, when he was kissed by his own daughter, perhaps overwhelmed by intense feeling, he fell to his death. It must be noted that these actions of Mr.Dimmesdale coupled with his final passing away, were consequential of the last critical choice made by Hester Prynne. (3) THE REVEREND ARTHUR DIMMESDALE Arthur appears to have been a unique mixture of opposites. He was an intensely pious, selfless man who somehow could not escape the tentacles of a cardinal sin. The scholarly, noble gentleman and exemplary, fiery preacher that he was; he allowed himself to descend into a quagmire of sin from which resurrection turned out to be an impossible dream. Obviously, his upright lifestyle and fine moral standards were not enough to keep his sights off the stunning, lonely widow Hester Prynne. And so he acted in a way that he would live to regret all his life. This first...

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