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There are two main themes that Hawthorne he uses in the novel both are related. Through his diction Hawthorne seems to emphasize the severity of Puritan law as a theme, the other is the strictness of Puritan society. In the opening chapter he carefully describes the prison as an ? ugly edifice?and gloomy? even though the prison is old, it still has the power to enforce the severe Puritan laws whatever they may be. He describes the door of the prison as being ?. Heavily timbered with oak and studded with iron spikes.?

The second theme deals with the strictness of Puritan society. In the start of second chapter the women in the town are speaking with great malice about Hester Prynne they speak of her as though she has committed the severest of crimes. ?This woman has brought shame upon us all and ought to die.?

Through these few women Hawthorne gives the impression that Hester is of very bad character, the women describe her as ?a hussy.? Yet when she finally steps out Hawthorne describes her as an elegant and beautiful woman. It is not till she comes out of prison till Hawthorne starts showing his true opinion about the severity of the puritanical society. The people are very offended by the fact that this Scarlet letter which is supposed to be a punishment for Hester is worn so beautifully as they comment that she makes ?pride out of what, they worthy gentlemen, meant for a punishment. Hawthorne then begins to show that Hester is of great character as she stays strong through her ordeals, the society is strict in many ways and he seems to have sympathy for her as he describes how cruel the people treat her.


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arts showing his true opinion about the severity of the puritanical society. The people are very offended b⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪⨪∠⁡畨獳⹹?教⁴桷湥猠敨映湩污祬猠整獰漠瑵䠠睡桴牯敮搠獥牣扩獥栠牥愠⁳湡攠敬慧瑮愠摮戠慥瑵晩汵眠浯湡‮瑉椠⁳潮⁴楴汬猠敨挠浯獥漠瑵漠⁦牰獩湯琠汩慈瑷潨湲⁥瑳牡獴猠潨楷杮栠獩琠畲⁥灯湩潩扡畯⁴桴⁥敳敶楲祴漠⁦桴⁥異楲慴楮慣潳楣瑥⹹吠敨瀠潥汰⁥牡⁥敶祲漠ntentions, and again you see Hawthorne showing sympathy towards Hester.

I feel very sorry for Pearl; she?s caught in all this involuntarily. She seems to be very incomplete and I believe it?s because she has no father, she demands that her mother tells her who her father is but Hester refuses to do so. Hawthorne describes pearl as being evil but I don?t see why she?s very innocent to me. All this is implemented upon her by the actions of her mother. Just like her mother pearl is an outcast when it comes to dealing with other children. Hawthorne describes Pearl as the scarlet letters ?the child?s whole appearance was the scarlet letter in another form.? We see in chapter seven how Pearl is a victim of her mothers actions again, the townspeople say ? Behold, verily, there is the woman of the scarlet letter? there is the likeness of the Scarlet letter running by

Page 2.

her side! Come therefore, and let us fling mud at them.? Hawthorne doesn?t seem as sympathetic towards pearl as he is towards Hester. A symbol that I have noticed but do not understand is the rosebush and blossoming in the first chapter they speak of it as a moral blossom, then pearl explains that she was plucked from a rosebush by the prison door. Is the symbolism suppose to be that out of all that cruelty and severity of law a beautiful flower such as a rose could have been taken from that? Another notes Men are the main characters in the book who make the important decision, as Hawthorne seems to portray women have no influence on society. It?s basically a ?man?s world? and for Hester to keep her child she had to be helped by a man Arthur Dimmesdale luckily pleads for her. Also it?s ironic how the women are a lot less sympathetic towards Hester as the men are. I would think they should understand what she?s going through, but yet again she should have known what will happen in a world were women opinions mean nothing. I guess they expected Hester to know better; that?s why they are spiteful towards her because she gives them all a bad name.

Ch 9-13

Roger Chillingworth is compared to the devil and I don?t see why? I understand his motives for trying to find out the father of his wife?s daughter; the only problem is the method he uses to go about finding the information. Leech is a good metaphor in that it describes exactly what he?s doing.

I?m now starting to understand the Puritan beliefs; in relation to the discussion we had in class how Puritans can be driven crazy by their religion. Dimsdale seems to be in situation of the sort; his secret that he?s hiding is plaguing him dearly. I still don?t see Chillingworth as the devil the Leech yes but ?Satan?, no. Also I really disliked the idea of the ?Black Man being a symbol of the devil?. Furthermore even though Chillingworth finds the information that he needed to find he went about doing it technically like a Leech might. He basically sucked the information out of Dimmesdale.

Hawthorne now seems to be sympathizing with Dimmesdale and a great deal more than he had done before with Hester. Dimmesdale unlike Hester, whose main enemies were the townspeople, has his main enemy Chillingworth, being compared to ?Satan?. Hawthorne has him go to the scaffold to receive exoneration for his crime, the problem is unlike Hester no one was there to speak spitefully of him as they did for Hester showing again Hawthorne’s sympathy more for Dimmesdale than for Hester.

Hester?s image seems to be slightly changing and getting worse for Dimmesdale. Hester is ?A? is seen now as ?Able? instead of ?Adultery?. But the passage that puzzles me is the passage comparing the letter to a ?cross on a nun?s bosom?. That seems contradictory sort of oxymoronic.

Ch 14-17.

Many things are now finally revealed in these last chapters. First I don?t see Chillingworth as being the rightful villain in this story he only wants revenge and that?s justifiable, Dimmesdale is self-inflicting the pain which he?s going through. I still don?t agree with Chillingworth being compared to the devil. And this reference about him being the ?Black Man? is annoying me. I figure he might have used it because at that time that wasn?t the term used for African Americans. But if it was Hawthorne appears to be racist.

Page 3.

Hear we see Hester feeling sorry for Dimmesdale and revealing Chillingworth?s true identity. Dimmesdale becomes angry with her and I don?t agree.

Here in chapter 17 you see Hawthorne?s view towards women coming into play again by making Dimmesdale get angry with Hester. Why is she the one at fault, wasn?t Dimmesdale the one that stood on the Scaffold in front of all the people and requested that she say who the father is, while he himself was the father all along. Where was he during the seven years, in which Hester cared for Pearl when she needed a ?Father figure,? where was he? No one is to blame for his ordeal now but he; and Hawthorne?s views towards women seem to prevent and blind him from seeing the true picture.

Ch 18-21

In these chapters many things are unfolding. An aspect of symbolism is when Hester removes the letter for the first time. Indicating that her punishment is over and she?s ready to move on. An interesting scene is were pearl refuses to cross the brook because she notices that her mother didn?t wear the letter that she?s worn since pearl was gone. I?m not sure what this rally meant but I figured pearl thought it was a mark of identification.

Dimmesdale now returns back with high spirits for the first time in a while. Things look as if to be going well for them. For the first time I truly see Chillingworth as playing a villain in that he prevented Dimmesdale and Hester from leaving Boston on the ship.

Ch 22-24

I don?t really understand Mistress Hibbins and her motives at all. But she had the premonition that what happened to Dimmesdale at the end would come true she told Hester that the ?Black man has a way of ordering matters so that mark shall be disclosed in open daylight to the eyes of all the world.

In the end Dimmesdale dies with the belief that ?God? has given mercy unto him. Pearl?s kiss had broken a spell Hawthorne describes, I assumed the spell had to do with guilt.

Dimmesdale shows his love for ?God? even the end as he praises him as he?s dying.


 Hawthorne describes Hester as simply accepting the punishment that she received, but not really suffering. Dimmesdale on the other hand is seen as being very innocent. Hawthorne is very sympathetic through his diction it seems, towards Dimmesdale.

 Each sex seems to be the worst judge for the other. The townswomen are very critical towards Hester; th 뀟⿐뀠㷠뀡܈뀢܈連֠逤֠뀥

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