Scarlet Letter Essay

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AP English 11 Language and Comprehension Summer Assignment: The Scarlet Letter August 15, 2013 The novel “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne is about a woman named Hester Prynne who endures great emotional and psychological struggles. To come to a resolution there is a lot of sacrifice on her part. Other characters in the story also face inner conflicts that took great tolls. Throughout the book, there are lessons to be learned and the author uses literary elements like symbolism and theme to help the reader relate to them. Hester Prynne committed one the greatest sins of the time; she was an adulterer. In seventeenth century Boston, a Puritan community, that was a great uproar. Prynne was required to wear a scarlet “A” as a sign of her sin. The letter became a part of her and the thought of removing it dismayed her. One would think that she would’ve been glad to get rid of it, but to her it was a reminder of her sin. Prynne became a free thinker and an observer of human nature because she was alienated by the community. This gave her the chance to independently philosophize which the narrator seems to look down upon. Prynne endured a great deal of trouble caused by her mistake. She never seemed to lose her compassion, however, which shows that she has a strong character. She becomes a type of mother figure to the women of the community. The shame that came with the letter at first was now long gone. Another character that struggles with inner turmoil is Arthur Dimmesdale, the man that Prynne had the affair with. It was his conscience that troubled him. Prynne took all the blame for the sin committed and he took no responsibility, escaping without punishment. The guilt that he felt ate away at him. Dimmesdale was a good preacher but his speeches became even more meaningful with this added emotion. The townspeople don’t realize that his

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