Essay The Scarlet Letter

Submitted By RoyLaw1
Words: 1208
Pages: 5

When I first read the name of the book, the scarlet letter, I thought it was like fictional story as Dan Brown’s novel. However, it turns out that it is a normal tragic novel about love, sin and knowledge. It instantly got my attention because I love romantic novel for those beautiful sentences in the book.The Scarlet Letter is written by Nathanial Hawthorne, the most influential romantic American novelist, writer and psychological analyst in the 19th century. The writer (1804~1864) said his work is the people’s “psychological romance”, while other literary historians called him a romantic writer. His works, including The House of Seven Gables (1851), The Blithedale Romance (1852), The Marble Faun (1860), The Minister Black Veil and Stone Face Portraits, win high evaluation. Poe said his novel “belongs to the highest level of art, a subject with high level of artistic genius”. Of all his works, The Scarlet Letter is one of the most famous authoritative works.
The book talks about the life of a woman and her tragic love story. The story began in 17th century Boston, a puritan settlement. A young woman, Hester Prynne, is led from the town prison with her infant daughter, Pearl, in her arms and the scarlet letter “A” on her breast. She is being punished for adultery, led to the town scaffold and harangued by the officers, but she refused to tell them who were the child’s father. After that, Hester still chose to live in the town not left in spite of humiliation, discrimination and condemnation. She tenaciously lived on embroidery and patiently brought up he daughter in a particular way. But the Arthur Dimmesdale, a young and eloquent minister, who was Pearl’s father, suffered heart trouble, caused by his psychological distress. Chillingworth, the minister’s doctor and Hester’s husband, suspected that Dimmesdale is Hester’s lover and that was convinced to be right. So Chilingworth decided on his revenge on the minister, but his aim couldn’t be achieved. Because Dimmesdale confessed publicly with Hester and his daughter, exposing a scarlet letter seared into the flesh of his chest. And then he died. Later, Chilingworth died and left his estate to Pearl. Hester still lived in Boston at last till she died there. And she was buried next to Dimmesdale; they shared a single tombstone, which bears a scarlet “A”.
There are some key facts about the book. Firstly, the genre of the book is symbolic and romance. Secondly, the setting of the book is taken place in middle of the seventeenth century at Boston, Massachusetts. Thirdly, the narrator is an unnamed customhouse surveyor who writes some two hundred years after the events he describes took place. He has much in common with Hawthorne but should not be taken as a direct mouthpiece for the author’s opinions. Lastly, the major conflict in the novel is between
The most prominent feature is symbols in the book. The letter “A” is a symbol of shame; it means that Hester is an adulterer. Of course, the scarlet letter is the centre of symbol. Hester’s scarlet is visible. She is exposed to wear he letter in all her life to remind people of the sin and humiliation. Dimmesdale symbolizes the invisible scarlet letter. He didn’t share the blame with Hester but suffered from the pain for seven years. Finally he aroused by his conscience and confided his sin and exposed his scarlet letter on his chest. Reger Chilingworth is the maker of the letter and represents the true evil. His twisted and deformed shoulder and body just like his distorted soul, he is just interested in revenge, not justice and sympathy, which is opposite to the kindness of Hester and the sympathy of Dimmesale. Another important symbol is Pearl, who is a sort of living version of her mother’s scarlet letter. She is the product of sin and a crystallization of love. But at the same time, Pearl also symbolizes the bravery and a kind of vital spirit because she gives her mother a good excuse to live on.
“Mother,” said little