"The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Essay discusses themes, plot, and symbolism.

Essay by carsondalyhottieHigh School, 11th gradeA+, November 2002

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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 forced to wear a scarlet letter bearing an "A". The father of her illegitimate child, Pearl, is revealed to be Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale to both the reader and Hester's husband, Roger Chillingsworth and he begins his revenge against Dimmesdale. Throughout the novel the characters go through many conflicts such as self-torture and shame.

But in the end, it all ends in a fairly good manner.

Hester is the main character and she was the woman who committed the sin of adultery and was forced to wear the scarlet letter for a time, but even when that time was over she continued to wear it.

The narrator said about Hester, "There glimmered the embroidered letter, with comfort in its unearthly ray. Elsewhere the token of sin, it was the taper of the sick-chamber. It had even thrown its gleam, in the sufferer's hard extremity, across the verge of time. It had shown him where to set his foot, while the light of earth was fast becoming dim, and ere the light of futurity could reach him. In such emergencies, Hester's nature showed itself warm and rich; a wellspring of human tenderness, unfailing to every real demand, and inexhaustible by the largest. Her breast, with its badge of shame, was but the softer pillow for the head of that needed one. She was self-ordained a Sister of...