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The Scarlet Letter Thesis Statement Essay Symbolism is one of the major leading and critical part of the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Each character in the novel represents different meanings and ideas. However, the main character who develops into an appealing symbol is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne. Pearl’s representation changes throughout the novel, but she is continually displayed as a wicked character and is demonstrated as God’s “punishment” for Hester’s guilt, and not only that; she continues to disregard the Puritan laws by relating with the nature and being over-joyful.
Pearl, sometimes described as worse as a witch, is a young girl, somewhat smart, with wild temper. Hester, as a single mother of this child, was under heavy stress and guilt. She says, “Oh Father in heaven- if thou art still my father- what is this being which I have brought into the world”? This quote very well describes what she was going through at the time when she was forced into isolation from the world under so much mockery. However, Hester doesn’t give up behaving the “right way. ” She continues to help many people in town, being honest and upright by consistently reflecting upon her sin.
Hawthorne also writes about Hester that she is, “wisely judging that one token of her shame would but poorly server to hide another. ” While Hester is punished for her guilt, Dimmesdale also suffers on his own. His sin was not adultery, but that he was not brave enough to confess that he had adulterated. It is hard for Dimmesdale to confess, however, being a minister; he keeps quiet to continue “working for God. ” However, Pearl was not only Hester’s consequence and responsibility but also Dimmesdale’s. Pearl shouts out to him, “Thou was not bold! thou wast not true! … Thou woudst not promise to take my hand, and my mother’s…” when Dimmesdale does not stand in the scaffold with them. Pearl seemed to know everything about the scarlet letter, including the fact that Dimmesdale was her father, and she persistently burdens both Hester and Dimmesdale more than they were already. Later, though, Dimmesdale finally realizes what he had done when he sees Hester suffering all by herself for what they had committed together. He confesses his sins in the end and feels deep joy and freedom in his heart.
Pearl is very attracted to the scarlet letter ever since she was a baby. The author writes that “her infant’s eyes had been caught by the glimmering of the gold embroidery about the letter. ” There was a scene where Hester took off her letter “A” and threw it on the ground. Pearl then screams and shouts at her mother for what she had done until she puts her letter back on. Hawthorne describes Pearl as “the scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed with life” which tells us that when the “A” was just for the public humiliation, Pearl represented the true scarlet being.
Hester knew about Pearl’s over-reacting behavior, but she could not condemn the child. Pearl, indeed, was a much powerful “scarlet letter” for Hester than the actual thread that told the world about her guilt. Pearl truly played one of the major parts in The Scarlet Letter, symbolizing Hester and Dimmesdale’s guilt, as well as a character that made this novel appropriate for the romantic period. Hawthorne indeed achieved his goal using Pearl as the connection between Hester and Dimmesdale, analyzing her character as being both the “rose” and the scarlet letter.
Pearl symbolized as the second scarlet letter to Hester by a reminder to what she had done. However, Pearl was also a rose by letting Hester wear the scarlet letter, and being Hester’s only treasure. Pearl was her one and only reason to live. Hester without Pearl would have lived a completely different life; she would not have the scarlet letter on her, nor would have any humiliation, but most importantly, she probably would not have a reason to live without Pearl being her treasure.
Author: Royce Ballin
“The Scarlet Letter” Thesis Statement Essay
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There is much to consider before formulating a thesis statement for Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. One valid reason is because there are so many viable themes and symbols running throughout the novel. For the purposes of answering your question, let us use theme as an example. The whole concept and interpretation of sin, revenge, fate versus free will, guilt and hypocrisy, and judgment are all good workable themes with which to develop your thesis. Your...
There is much to consider before formulating a thesis statement for Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. One valid reason is because there are so many viable themes and symbols running throughout the novel. For the purposes of answering your question, let us use theme as an example. The whole concept and interpretation of sin, revenge, fate versus free will, guilt and hypocrisy, and judgment are all good workable themes with which to develop your thesis. Your thesis, of course, depends on what exactly your instructor is asking you to contemplate and critique.
For an example, let us choose judgment as a theme with which to work on a strong thesis statement. The Scarlet Letter takes place in a very strong religious environment known as Puritanism. This was a very strict religious code that many lived by during this period in American history. Generally speaking, whenever there is a very strict religious way of life, there comes with it a plentitude of judgment, whether justifiable or not. That is what you might want to think about as you form a thesis statement. For instance, Hester Prynne is the victim of societal judgment to an extreme degree. After all, Hester is forced to wear a scarlet "A" as a symbol of her adultery. Then, she is paraded through the streets for others to judge her sin. What's worse is that suddenly her husband appears ready to seek revenge. The amount of judgment she is forced to endure is almost unfathomable, especially if you consider her supposed sin from a gender point of view. Are the rules the same for men as for women during this historical period? Why or why not? People love to judge and formulate punishments based upon those judgments. Your thesis could go in several directions, but the strongest thesis is one that focuses on a particular aspect.
Here is an example you may want to think about. Make sure, as with any thesis statement, that you feel comfortable backing up your statement with both textual proof as well as formal critique. SAMPLE THESIS: In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne suffers unjust punishment at the hands of the townsfolk, her husband, and the rules of the Puritan religion. Within the thesis example above, the writer states his/her argument as to what the essay is going to be about, and what exact direction the paper will take in relation to the theme. If you happen to be writing a typical five paragraph essay, you will provide your thesis in the introductory paragraph. Then, using the hypothetical three body paragraph ideas from the above thesis, judgment from society, her husband, and her religion, this is how you would construct the following body paragraphs. Remember that this example is written for a typical five paragraph essay. You may need to tailor it spcifically depending upon what the instructor is asking. You can always add more or less body paragraphs depending on the required assignment.