Guilty In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, a romantic work of historical fiction published in 1860, explores the costs of duplicity and disguised guilt among the lives of individuals who struggle to embrace their self-awareness within a stern society. Set in the mid-seventeenth century in Puritan Boston, Massachusetts, the protagonist Hester Prynne bears the scarlet letter upon her chest. The letter A serves as an unceasing public shaming for her adulterous actions with the highly regarded Reverend Dimmesdale. The major conflict arrives through the antagonist Roger Chillingworth, Hester’s husband; he seeks vengeance upon Dimmesdale and ultimately extracts the evil and weakness in both Dimmesdale and himself. Hawthorne’s development of door and…show more content…
Interplaying with fate, Hester becomes an understood mother figure to the townspeople. Everyone brought their “sorrows and perplexities [to Hester] and besought her counsel”, thus, Hester “comforted and counselled them” (218). This depiction indicates that the scarlet letter no longer conveys the world’s disdain and hostility; Hester’s selfless work ultimately enables for society to pass through Hester’s door. Doors cease to restrain Hester from choosing between two dissimilar fates. When Hester returns to her cottage after several years, “on the threshold she paused [pauses]... but her hesitation was only for an instant, though long enough to display a scarlet letter on her breast” (216). Wearing the letter reveals the idea of Hester’s peace with her past and validates that her short flash of fear in crossing the door returns as a memory, but no longer exists. A new sense of ease allows Hester to pass through doors freely. Although the narrator offers no definitive truth, the story tells of Hester’s final door encounter as “she glided shadowlike through these impediments- and, at all events, went in [into her house]” (216). Hester’s manner of gliding through the door without troubles suggests that the barrier no longer presents any internal
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