This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Theme Of Forgiveness In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

1370 words - 6 pages

Theme of Forgiveness in The Scarlet Letter

 

"The public is despotic in its temper; it is capable of denying common justice when too strenuously demanded as a right; but quite as frequently it awards more than justice when the appeal is made, as despots love to have it made entirely to it's generosity."

The Scarlet Letter (156)

 

       One of themes that Hawthorne conveys in The Scarlet Letter is that society is more willing to forgive people who ask for forgiveness with humility and generosity than those who demanded it as a right. This theme was conveys using Hester Prynne, a young women who committed adultery. This was ...view middle of the document...

Likewise, it was there to ensure that such a crime would not again befell upon their Puritan community. 

 

" "Drink, then," replied he, still with the same cold composure. "Dost thou know me so little, Hester Prynne? Are my purposes wont to be so shallow? Even if I imagine a scheme of vengeance, what could I do better for my object than to let thee live-than to give thee medicines against all harm and peril of life so that this burning Shame may still blaze upon thy bosom?"(78).  Hester's Husband like everyone else in the town wanted Hester to feel hurt, guilty for what she had done.   The scarlet letter on her bosom had become her burden that she had to carry with her everyday.  Whenever Hester would go into town the children there would ridicule her constantly, and also throw objects at her because of the scarlet letter that she wore.  The scarlet letter was not only a constant reminder to Hester of what she had done but also what she has and will keep going through because of her action. 

 

Because of her crime and the scarlet letter being place on her bosom, Hester became secluded from the other people in her society.  "Who had been familiarly acquainted with Hester Prynne, were now impress as if they beheld her for the first time was the Scarlet Letter, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom.  It had the effect of a spell taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity and enclosing her in a sphere by herself."(61).  She became a lonely person; Her only company, her daughter the child who was the product of her sin.  The scarlet letter is the burden that Hester has to carry everyday of her life, and the symbol, which secluded her from any other human being.

 

      "... With the hot, midday sun burning down upon her face and lighting up its shame, with the scarlet letter token of infamy on her breast..."(69).  Every time, Hester saw or felt the present of the scarlet letter upon her bosoms it always brought her shame.  When the letter had first been place upon her bosom, Hester's first reaction was she wanted to covered it with her infant "in a moment, however, wisely judging that one token of her shame could poorly serve to hide another..."(61).   At first she wanted to hide the scarlet letter with the infant but realized that the infant was well a symbol of her crime. "When strangers looked curiously at the scarlet -and none ever failed to do so-they branded it afresh into Hester's soul; so that, often times, she could scarcely refrain, yet always did refrain, from covering the symbol with her hand."(89). The symbol had indeed, fulfilled its purpose in making Hester ashamed.

 

       " Such helpfulness was found in her-so much power to do and power to...

Other Essays Like Theme of Forgiveness in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

2078 words - 9 pages relationships. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s childhood influenced his novel The Scarlet Letter. His family’s past was one from which Hawthorne could not escape. An ancestor of Hawthorne’s was known for his offenses against Quakers, and his son to be a judge in the Salem Witch Trials. This fact not only led to the changing of his name’s spelling, with the addition of a “w,” but also impacted his writing of The Scarlet Letter. His religious raising is another way

The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne

926 words - 4 pages responsibility for years. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne illustrates the effects of the conscience, showing the differences of one whose guilt is secret and one whose is exposed. Hester Prynne could never have hidden her crime, since the resulting child was a constant reminder of it. She spent time in jail for what she had done, and was stood on a platform in front of the whole town to shame her and to show the public what the penalty was

The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorn

1053 words - 5 pages boundaries, he develops a story whose central theme was revenge. Hawthorne uses The Scarlet Letter to reprimand revenge as a detrimental act never allows a person to be satisfied and in the end, destroys him. He uses Chillingworth’s conversations with others to characterize Chillingworth’s radical transformation from a scholarly person to a devil whose sole purpose was to torment Dimmesdale as retribution for committing adultery with Hester

Book Title: Scarlet Letter Author: Nathaniel Hawthorn

489 words - 2 pages Literary Analysis ParagraphsScarlet LetterSymbolismIn the Puritan society of Hester's day; the Scarlet Letter represents a 'sinful' woman who cheated on her husband. Adultery was accepted then, just as much as cashing a check in the U.S. without I.D. while looking like Bin Laden today. Although every one looked down on her, Hester Prynne's pride and dignity grew from the harsh intensions of the Scarlet Letter. The Scarlet Letter was supposed to

"The Scarlet Letter" By Nathaniel Hawthorne. Essay Discusses Themes, Plot, And Symbolism

1217 words - 5 pages The Scarlet Letter is set in the colonial time period in Boston, Massachusetts when accusations of trivial crimes and dull felonies were high. But not all were for nothing. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's book, he depicts the scene of everyday life in colonial towns where the every move of everyone is either ripped apart and criticized or put on high. This very well describes the book. Hester Prynne, the main character, committed adultery and was

The Ambiguity Of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Birthmark

3344 words - 14 pages rather than a distinct image forms in the mind of the reader. The words of the narrator regarding the mark might well apply to the readers’ interpretation of the meaning: “It must not be concealed, however, that the impression wrought by this fairy sign manual varied exceedingly, according to the difference of temperament in the beholders.” The Norton Anthology: American Literature states in “Nathaniel Hawthorne”:   Above all, his theme was

Sin In The Scarlet Letter

607 words - 3 pages Sin in The Scarlet Letter        Since the dawn of time people have read, studied and enjoyed books in which the hero or heroes fall from grace. No matter who those heroes are- the human race in The Bible,the demon prince Lestat in Anne Rice's "Vampire Chronicles"or a certain Thane of Cawdor in "Macbeth"- sin plays a greatpart in all of their downfalls and subsequent ressurections.And the three main

Importance Of The Forest In The Scarlet Letter

975 words - 4 pages Importance of the Forest in The Scarlet Letter             "The path strangled onward into the mystery of the primeval forest"(179).  This sentence displays just one of the multiple personalities that the forest symbolizes in The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorn.  In the Scarlet Letter the forest symbolizes much more than one might imagine.  Each

The Portrayal of Jealousy in Othello and the Scarlet Letter

1537 words - 7 pages also be examining character personalities in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.  I will be researching the reasons why Othello, Hamlet and Roger Chillingworth were fuelled to commit such acts of violence or attempted to, and paying particular detail to jealousy; which eventually led to induced insanity in all three characters. Examining all three main characters in Othello, we can see that Shakespeare intended them all to be diverse in

On the Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter

4236 words - 17 pages . 2. The significance As a great romantic novelist in America in 19th century, Hawthorne is outstanding in handling the application of symbolism. The Scarlet Letter is Hawthorne's the most important symbolic novel, which stands as the best work of Hawthorne and one of the indubitable masterpieces of American literature. This essay aims at the exploration of the usage of the symbolism in the novel. It mainly

Character Development in The Scarlet Letter

625 words - 3 pages Authors use character development to show how a person can change. Through a descriptive portrayal of a charter and their development they become real to the reader. A well-developed character stirs up emotions in the reader making for a powerful story. A person can change for better or worse and Nathaniel Hawthorne shows this thru the character development of Hester, Chillingworth, and Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter.    &nbsp

Related Papers

The Symbolic Use Of Nature In Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

1425 words - 6 pages The Symbolic Use of Nature in The Scarlet Letter       In Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic The Scarlet Letter, nature plays a very important and symbolic role.  Hawthorne uses nature to convey the mood of a scene, to describe characters, and to link the natural elements with human nature.  Many of the passages that have to do with nature accomplish more than one of these ideas.  All throughout the book, nature is incorporated into the story

Clothing In Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

1229 words - 5 pages Clothing: A Form of Rebellion “Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used by the author to represent abstract ideas or concepts.” Symbolism in literature is the depth and hidden meaning in any piece of work. The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a powerful and evocative novel laced with symbolism. The most obvious is the symbol of the scarlet letter itself, representing Hester’s sin of adultery. Hawthorne’s other symbols

Dimmesdale's Guilt And Internal Struggle In Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

1085 words - 5 pages In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Mr. Dimmesdale’s greatest fear is that the townspeople will find out about his sin of adultery with Hester Prynne. Mr. Dimmesdale fears that his soul could not take the shame of such a disclosure, as he is an important moral figure in society. However, in not confessing his sin to the public, he suffers through the guilt of his sin, a pain which is exacerbated by the tortures of Roger Chillingworth

The Symbols Used In The "Scarlet Letter" By Nathaniel Hawthorne

402 words - 2 pages The Scarlet Letter is a classic novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of the more famous authors. Nathaniel Hawthorne writes about Puritans, their lives, and beliefs. The story begins in 17th century Boston. In the beginning of the story, Hester Prynne, an adulterer and the main character of this story, is led from the town prison to a scaffold, where she is to stand and made an example of to those who sin. In her arms, she bears Pearl, her