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The Scarlet Letter 2 Essay

1687 words - 7 pages

If one is to read Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter, they will forever remember the remarkable tale of a woman who succeeds against all odds. It extraordinarily describes the life and times of early Puritan colonists in America and the sin of adultery. The question of morality and its positive and negative effects is at the very core of this story. Is one night of sin worth a lifetime of hardships? I. Summary Hester Prynne, a member of a once affluent and prosperous family, was arranged to marry a physician by the name of Roger Chillingworth. Although not out of love, they are married and live successful lives in Amsterdam. When they eventually decide to settle in America, ...view middle of the document...

With hearing talk that Pearl may be taken away from her, she goes to the Governor Bellingham's office in order to talk him into letting her keep the child. Bellingham is displeased with Pearl's attitude of the church and Puritanism, and therefore decides to take her away. Just before he does, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale steps in and talks Bellingham out of it. Chillingworth witnesses all of this and is surprised to see how strongly Dimmesdale defends Hester and Pearl. Late one night, after struggling with his guilt, Dimmesdale goes to the center of the town and stands upon the scaffold, confessing his guilt. Supposedly, no one witnesses this as Hester and Pearl join him. Abruptly, Pearl points into the shadows where they could make out the image of Roger Chillingworth. Yet another night, while Dimmesdale is sleeping, Chillingworth notices a strange mark on the Reverend's chest. All of these incidents, along with Dimmesdale's failing health, (which Chillingworth deems to be a result of severe guilt) provide him with more than enough information to make a jump to who is Pearl's biological father.While Chillingworth continues to take joy in watching Dimmesdale's physical degeneration, Hester feels she must help him and therefore asks Chillingworth to allow her to reveal him as her husband. One day, Hester stops Dimmesdale in the woods and announces that Chillingworth is her husband. She tells him to move to Boston and start a new life. Dimmesdale says that he shall, but not alone. So Hester tells him, "Thou shalt not go alone!" They become excited about starting a new life together, and Hester throws her scarlet letter amidst the trees and calls for Pearl. Pearl refuses to come to her mother because she is not wearing the scarlet A, which confuses Pearl. To appease Pearl, Hester again attaches the letter to her chest. At Election Day, (when the new governor is inaugurated) Dimmesdale gives a brilliant speech but seems very weak. Returning from the church, he collapses, then regains his balance and continues forward. He makes it to the scaffold, and with the help of Hester, he climbs it to face the town. He cries out that he is the true father of Pearl. He tears his shirt open to reveal a scarlet letter A blazed upon his chest. His confession is what eventually sets his soul free and conquers the evil Chillingworth.After the passing away of Dimmesdale, Chillingworth has nothing to maintain his craving for revenge, and thereby dies shortly after. His money and possessions are left to Pearl, who has now become a lady, unlike her former "devilish" self. She and her mother go on to lead comfortable lives in England and then in Boston after they return in a number of years. Hester and Pearl become prominent Boston townsfolk, and live their last years in peace.II. Correspondence to U.S. History The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne does an excellent job of explaining the early Puritan colonies of America and the colonist's lifestyles. It describes...

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