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Scarlet Letter Essay, Research Paper

ST. AUGUSTINE PREPEnglish Department Scarlet Letter Paper for Mrs. Deary The Scarlet Letter Oct. 19th, 1998 fromGregory Gilleland The Scarlet Letter 1.)a. On page 50, a description of how Hester Prynne appeared when she was led out of jail to face the public as part of her punishment. My impression of Hester if that she was a beautiful young woman, married to an old man who wasn’t living with her for the past two years, and this led her to commit adultery. I believe that Hester realized this act as her own personal sin and therefore would not reveal the father of her child, but instead stood alone, ready to take the punishment she agreed was deserved for her crime. b. On page 62, a description is given of Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, whose help Governor Bellingham asked for, to make Hester repent and confess who the father of her child was. My impression of Rev. Dimmesdale is that he was a young pastor of Hester’s congregation, who lived and stood in front of the Governor and his whole congregation. Meanwhile he personally was in conflict with himself, because he knew he had to comply with the Governor’s request but also knew that he was the father of Hester’s child. c. On page 83, Pearl is described as a child who couldn’t be made to follow the rules. In my opinion, Pearl was a child, born under the circumstances that involved her mother breaking a law, therefore she was raised without the usual rules and without the company of other children, which made her into someone who had little care for other people’s rules and regards. 2.) Hester named her daughter “Pearl”- as being of great price- because she paid a great personal price and in fact all that she could pay, to have this child, who was her only treasure. In light of the story, the image of a “pear” does fit. In nature, mollusks produce a secretion around a small solid irritant, like a grain of sand, which finds its way into the mollusks shell slowly over a long period of time and many repetitions of this cycle result in a pearl. It can take years for a pearl to form and you never know what the end result will be because how it forms depends on changes of the environment the mollusks are in. The symbolism of the name “Pearl” in this story is when being compared to a pearl formed in nature. Pearl, came into being as result of an irritant, her mother’s sin and was raised under unusual surroundings and circumstances. No one could predict, just like when a pearl is forming, how the situations would affect her as she was growing up. Also, pearls formed in nature are very unusual and each one is uniquely different. Pearl, in this story, grew up to be a very atypical person with a very unique personality. 3.) See attached. 4.) Arthur Dimmesdale’s deteriorating health could have been as result of witchcraft. Roger Chillingworth, Hester’s husband, moved in with Arthur and discovered that Arthur was the father of his wife’s child. From that point on, he plotted his revenge. Some of the townspeople believed that Chillingworth practiced “the black art” with fire brought from hell and his wife found him gathering herbs when she thought he would try to harm Arthur. In fact, Hester confronted him and he told her he could not let Arthur be unpunished for his crime. Arthur’s symptoms all seemed to be a result of how he tortured himself because he felt guilty that he didn’t confess that he was Pearl’s father. Since no one could find anything physically wrong with him, yet his health was rapidly failing, his symptoms were psychosomatic.

5.) Pearl refused to live by the rules and laws that Puritan children followed. Puritan children lived strictly as the Bible stated they should, but Pearl did whatever she wanted to do. Pearl was born of a natural union and not from a socially sanctioned Puritan union. Pearl plays in the forest, picking flowers she uses to decorate her hair and dresses but Puritan children are not allowed to seek pleasures like these since they consider it sinful. 6.) I believe that people have a right to repent any sins they know they might have committed in privacy and not be forced to reveal them to anyone. However, if a public official is charged in public with a criminal, deceitful or sinful act, I believe that they should tell the truth or refrain from lying by telling the public that they choose not to reveal this personal sin to them. Presidents, Governor’s, etc. are elected by people who expect them to at least be honest since they are involved in making decisions that could affect the lives of all of us. If the public officers commit crimes, then they should receive the same due process by law as anyone else receive. In this story , Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale could have avoided a lot of problems if he had told the truth. The line should be drawn when it comes to telling the truth especially if you are a public official who the world depends on for setting a good example.7.) “Vengeance can be a two-sided sound.” I interpret this to mean that if you decide to get revenge on someone and you succeed, the process of getting revenge could actually hurt you as well. What happened to Roger Chillingworth in this story is a great example. When Roger came to Boston to join his wife, Hester, who he sent there two years ago, he found her being punished for adultery. Roger, changed his last name to Chillingworth and made a vow to seek revenge on the man who was responsible for violating his marriage. Initially the townspeople were happy to have Chillingworth, an old physician, because he moved in with Reverend Dimmesdale, the pastor of their congregation whose health was mysteriously failing. Roger really did not want to help the people’s pastor but soon started suspecting that his illness was not caused by a physical ailment. Roger soon discovered that Dimmesdale was the man responsible for seducing his wife. Then he became fiercely obsessed with carrying out his plan to destroy him. He devised a plan which included torturing the pastor’s every waking moment. However, in doing so, he himself became evil and even turned to using “black magic.” In the end, Dimmesdale realized what was happening so he confessed his sin to the public and died. Roger achieved the revenge sought but now that it is over, he had nothing more to live for because his life was basically seeking revenge on Dimmesdale. A year later, he also died. Roger’s revenge on Dimmesdale had in a way killed him too.

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