Scarlet Letter Anti Transcendentalism Essay

Words: 838
Pages: 4

Anti-Transcendentalism is the belief that all humans are evil and cruel. One well-known anti transcendentalist is Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nathaniel Hawthorne was bullied as a child thanks to his great uncle, John Hathorne, who was the only judge that did not apologize for his participation in the Salem Witch Trials. Nathaniel Hawthorne became obsessed with Puritanism and became a writer who based all of his stories in Puritan towns. One of his pieces, The Scarlet Letter, is about a woman, Hester, who slept with a man, Dimmesdale, that she was not married to, which is a huge sin in a Puritan town. Hester gives birth to a baby, Pearl, who is born in the prison. Her punishment is to wear a scarlet A (adultery) on her chest, while Dimmesdale does not confess. Hester’s husband, Chillingworth, who was presumed dead, shows up and begins to torture Dimmesdale in a secretive manner. In this novel, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the symbolism of a rose bush, a scaffold, and sunlight in a forest to contribute to the overall theme of imperfection.
First, Hawthorne uses a rose bush to symbolize imperfection. Roses consist of flowers, the good, and thorns, the evil. This rose bush grows outside the prison in the town. Hawthorne also explains, “...was a wild rose-bush, covered… with its
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Among many, Hawthorne uses a rose bush, a scaffold, and sunlight in a forest to display this theme. The sunlight (innocence, good, god’s light) follows Pearl through the forest (evil, bad, devil’s home); however, it won’t touch Hester due to the A (the punishment for committing adultery) on her chest. The scaffold is the sire of punishment, but is also the site of redemption. The rose bush was the lesson taken from the story, which varies from reader to reader. Always remember, nothing is wholly evil or wholly good, everything is a concoction of good and evil, and everything is