- Term Papers and Free Essays

The Scarlet Letter

Essay by   •  August 26, 2010  •  898 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,690 Views

Essay Preview: The Scarlet Letter

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

People judge others they encounter based upon their own

values. These values are acquired through experiences in

the home, school, at work, and with friends. A person is

taught from their parents at a very young age what is right

and wrong, but they may fail to realize that the values they

are taught are filtered through the minds of those who

teach. Therefore one is a product of their previous

generation adding our his or her judgement to the values

that we will pass on. Hawthorne judges the characters in

The Scarlet Letter by using his own values. These values

were drastically different from other Puritans. Instead of the

stern, harsh values of the Puritans, Hawthorne sees life

through the eyes of a Romantic. He judges each person

accordingly, characterizing each person's sin as the

pardonable sin of nature or the unpardonable sin of the

human soul. One can infer, by the writing style, that

Hawthorne is most forgiving to Hester. He writes about

Hester with a feeling of compassion that the descriptions of

the other characters lack. Hawthorne approves of Hetser's

feeling, vitality, and thirst to overcome the iron shackles of

binding society. He shows us that although Hester is not

permitted to express her feelings verbally because of social

persecution, there is no one that can restrain the thoughts of

the human mind. Hawthorne, being a romantic and man of

nature himself, can relate to the this. - If you were to look

up the human mating characteristics in a science book you

may surprise yourself. The human instinct is to have more

than one partner not to stay loyal to one partner- In fact

Hester is often contrasted with the Puritan laws and rules,

especially when Hawthorne states: "The world's law was

no law for her mind." (70) Roger Chillingworth's

personality is one of intelligence and knowledge but no

feeling. Hawthorne considers Roger Chilingworth's sin the

worst in the book. In one of his journal entrees he labels it

the "unpardonable sin." Hawthorne describes him as very

cold and Puritan-like, an educated man that looked very

scholarly. As stated here: There was a remarkable

intelligence in his features, as a person who had so

cultivated his mental part that it could not fail to mould to

physical to itself, and become manifest by unmistakable

tokens. (67) Hawthorne frequently refers to Chillingworth's

genius and diction, but purposely fails to have Chillingworth

show any slight sign of compassion. This lack of

compassion is what made him the monster that he is. He

treats people like a mathematical problem analyzing only

the facts, caring nothing about the harm that he might

cause.(my notes) He picks at Dimmsdale the same way as

described here: He now dug into the poor clergyman's

heart like a miner searching for gold or, rather, like a sexton

delving into a grave Possibly in the quest of a jewel that had

been buried on the dead mans bosom, but likely to find

nothing save morality and corruption. (127) Chillingworth

now takes room with Dimmsdale only pretending to be his

friend but secretly plotting his demise. Shortly after people

begin to notice "something ugly and evil in his face which

the had not previously noticed and grew to the more

obvious to sight the more they looked upon him." (67)

Chillingworth's face seemed to change more and more.

Hawthorne soon refers to Chillingworth as the black man,

which is a derivative of the devil. Hawthorne



Download as:   txt (5.7 Kb)   pdf (77.7 Kb)   docx (11.6 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on