Book Review Of The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter offered an extraordinary insight into the norms and behavior of the 17th century in American Puritan society. The female who gave birth to
a baby out of wedlock would be jailed for three months and sentenced to wear a symbol of her adultery—a scarlet “A” on her dress all the time. It concerned about the moral, emotional and psyschological effect of sin on people in general. It was not a simply love story but a story of sin. The Scarlet letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne used the scarlet letters to symbolize the harshness of Puritan society, showing that how they branded sinners for life. The story happened in Boston in 17th century. It narrated love affairs between three person, One was the punished woman Hester Prynne, the other was his husband who called himself Roger Chillingworth. He was an old misshappen man and a doctor. Hester did not love him at all. Another man was a young minister, Dimmesdale, who had a high position
among ministers and was highly respected among his people in town. Hester and Dimmesdale loved each other. But their love was forbidden at that time. It was sinful. Due to this, Hester was punished by society with a letter A on her chest, which considered an evil and a shame. In this novel, the mainline seemd to be around the letter A. Hester was brave enough to face the cruel reality. She was always with a mind of courage. She had been alone with her child for so long, with little communication. Shame! Hopelessness! Loneliness! Hester had to wear the letter A day after day, seven years as for punishment and ill fame. When a woman had lived through a difficult experience, her character changed a great deal. If she been all tenderness, she would die. If she survived, the tenderness would leave her. Hester?s charitable deeds and quite humility had earned her a reprieve from the scorn of the community. The letter on her chest represented
her work on earth, always helping others, without excepting any thanks. Never afterwards, did that scarlet letter leave her chest. The townspeople no longer view the letter as a punishment, but rather as representing her great strength and bravery and they said it means ?Able?. But Arthur Dimmesdale, his sin against Hester and Pearl was that he would not acknowledge them as his wife and daughter in the daylight. He kept his dreadful secret from mysterious heart trouble, seemingly caused by psychological distress, what's worse, he was an advisor to the townspeople about their sins. After Mr.Dimmesdale?s death, no one changed more in appearance than Roger Chillingworth. All his strength and energy had been used to harm his patient. This unhappy man aimed to add to the suffering of the young minister. When the evil old man no longer had such a purpose, the devil took him back to the hell. It is a curious subject of observation,
however, whether hatred or love are not of the same place. Each takes a great deal of emotion from one person. The two feelings seem basically the same, except that one is smiled upon by God, while the other is worshipped by the devil. The two lovers had ever decided to flee to Europe, where they could live with their daughter Pearl as a family. They felt a sense of release there. However, their plan failed. When Hester died, she was buried next to Dimmesdale. The two shared a single tombstone with a deep colored letter A shining brightly. What stuck me when I read this, and remains with me today,is that it is those who presume to punish sin who are the real sinners, Chillingworth?s life is one devoid of human feeling, devoid of any real joy as he lies in the stone cold bed of hatred and revenge. And to a lesser extent so it is with Dimmesdale who cannot forgive himself, who secretly flagellates himself so that his life becomes a hell on earth.
On the other hand there is Hester who finds forgiveness and love with good works and in the jioy of her beautiful and precious Pearl and in her unstinting love for Dimmesdale and her hope and faith that a better life will come. 09 英语 2 班 邓楚欣
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