Telling the Truth About Love and Hate The Scarlet Letter is a story of many ideas and concepts. Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, it deals not only with adultery, society, and finally, it deals with the effects of being truthful and lying. I will discus the topics with my own views as well as those see in the novel.
Hate and love are two very important feelings in the novel "Philosophically considered, therefore, the two passions seem essentially the same, except that one in a dusky and lurid glow."Ã¯Â¿Â½ (255). This is saying that love and hate are similar. The subjects arise many times in the novel, seemingly to make up the base of it, the whole novel revolves around it. The love between mother and daughter is really strong in the book. Hester has an undying love for her daughter Pearl, a very observant and somewhat wicked little girl.
There is also hate in the story. Roger Chillingworth, Hester's husband has an obsessive hate for Rev. Dimmesdale, the father of Pearl, because of what he has done. Hawthorne says this about him, "In a word, old Roger Chillingworth was a striking evidence of a man's faculty of transforming himself into a devil, if he will only, for a responsible space of time, undertake the devil's office"Ã¯Â¿Â½ (166). In fact Rev. Dimmesdale says, "The old man's revenge has been blacker than sin. He violated, in cold blood, the sanctity of the human heart. Thou and I, Hester never did so"Ã¯Â¿Â½ (191). There is hate between Chillingworth and Dimmesdale, because Chillingworth pretended to care for Dimmesdale, but he secretly hated him. Love and hate are two very important emotions. According to Hawthorne with out hate, there would be no love. Without love, there would be no hate. But love is much stronger than hate, and it will prevail in the long run.
Being a woman in the Puritan society was not a very good life, especially for Hester. Her case was different because she was adulteress. Women didn't have any rights, and they were looked down upon. Hawthorne said this about Hester, "Indeed, the same dark question often rose into her mind in reference to the whole race of womanhood. Was the existence worth accepting, even to the happiest among them?"Ã¯Â¿Â½ (162). Hester was having serious doubts whether life was worth living or not. Woman also got charged with obscure accounts of witchcraft, often for really idiotic reasons. If they read a book, or were in the forest and looked suspicious they were tried for witchcraft, and could have been hung. So it was indeed a terrible time to be a woman in a Puritan society, Hester was still well liked by her town, only after the torture she endured directly after she was released with the letter on her chest. It took a while, and all of her outward beauty before she could trust again, but eventually the letter was just part of her. The hardships she endured made it especially tough to be a woman in a Puritan society. They were treated like dirt, looked down upon, and lived terrible lives, like Hester said, almost not worth living. ""ÃÂ¦A women never overcomes these problems by any exercise of thought"Ã¯Â¿Â½ (162).
The other two main ideas in The Scarlet Letter were the effects of telling the truth or a lie. Telling the truth is a very important aspect of the story. It also added irony. Rev. Dimmesdale for example tells the truth about his sin to the disciples during his sermon, and they do not denounce him for it, they praise him even more so. By reveling his truth, Dimmesdale is brought brief joy, before his death. "Do I fell again! Cried he, wondering at himself, Methought the germ of it was dead inside of me! O Hester, thou art my better angel!"Ã¯Â¿Â½ (198). Dimmesdale eventually died because he kept the truth bottled up inside for so long. It not only hurts him mentally, but physically as well. To Hester, being truthful is much easier than living a lie, because, the truth will eventually be exposed.
The Scarlet Letter has many very important, concepts and ideas live with us still today and will remain around. Love and hate seem to be the base at which our society revolves around, because all we do is based on whether we love of hate a person, group, or thing, and telling the truth or lying is deciding factor on whether we hate or love. As long as the hate is understood, it can be changed to the emotion of love or at least tolerance. The other idea in the story was "being a women in the puritan society,"Ã¯Â¿Â½ and I believe things have gotten a whole lot better than they were for Hester. Women now, have an opinion and can voice that opinion in need be. It's a much more equal society.