Scarlet Letter Essay Research Paper Adultery betrayal

Scarlet Letter Essay, Research Paper

Adultery, betrayal, promiscuity, subterfuge, and intrigue, all of which would

make an excellent coming attraction on the Hollywood scene and probably a pretty

good book. Add Puritan ideals and writing styles, making it long, drawn out,

tedious, wearisome, sleep inducing, insipidly asinine, and the end result is The

Scarlet Letter. Despite all these things it is considered a classic and was a

statement of the era. The Scarlet Letter is a wonderful and not so traditional

example of the good versus evil theme. What makes this a unique instance of good

versus evil is that either side could be considered either one. Hester could

very easily have been deduced as evil, or the "bad guy," as she was by

the townspeople. That is, she was convicted of adultery, a horrible sin of the

time, but maybe not even seen as criminal today. As for punishment, a sentence

to wear a scarlet "A" upon her chest, it would hardly be considered a

burden or extreme sentence in present day. Or Hester can be seen as rebelling

against a society where she was forced into a loveless marriage and hence she

would be the "good guy," or girl, as the case may be. Also the

townspeople, the magistrates, and Chillingworth, Hester’s true husband, can be

seen in both lights. Either they can be perceived as just upholding the law -she

committed a crime, they enforce the law. On the other hand are they going to

extreme measures such as wanting to take Pearl, Hester’s daughter, away just

because Hester has deviated from the norm, all to enforce an unjust law that

does not even apply to this situation? Although the subjects of the novel do

apply to important issues in history and could have had influences on the time

period, they were not great. During the times and in the Puritan community this

did not have a large affect on anything. Sure, they did not want anyone

committing adultery, most were killed if convicted, but it was not something

that upset their way of living in any permanent manner. To an individual or

group who was battling something backward in the Puritan society, as were many

things, this would have been an inspirational book and possibly a revelation. In

short, this book could have been exceptional; it had all the elements of a

superb book. Unfortunately, Hawthorne found himself a rather large thesaurus and

added a bunch of mindless prattle that mellowed out the high points of the book

and expanded on the low points. In many chapters all he manages to accomplish is

to update the lives of characters, mostly with irrelevant drivel. Also by

expanding on the symbolism of the scarlet letter umpteenth times he wears it out

so that the reader wants nothing more to do with a dumb "A" on some

woman’s chest hundreds of years ago. Other than that, great book.


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