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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne by Mind Map: The Scarlet Letter by
Nathaniel Hawthorne
0.0 stars - reviews range from 0 to 5

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Plot

is about the tragic tale of a woman, Hester Prynne, who has been convicted for adultery against her husband, Roger Chillingworth, and is sentenced to a lifelong public shame for it.

Her punishment was to wear a large scarlet "A" upon her breast for as long as she lived.

As she perseveres through this shame for several years, she does not reveal the identity of the man of which she committed adultery with.

Although the man, who is Arthur Dimmesdale, is not revealed to their peers, both he and Hester are constantly tormented by the crime they had done together and reminded of it by the daughter, Pearl, that was conceived through this crime

Chillingworth eventually discovers that it was Dimmesdale who had partaken in the crime with his former wife and tortures him for it in subtle, but effective manners.

Dimmesdale then finally reaches a breaking point where he would reveal to the village that it was him who had committed adultery with Hester Prynne on the very spot that she was publicly shamed years before.

After confessing this fact, Dimmesdale falls dead and Hester and Pearl leave town for several years, but only Hester would return, still wearing the "A" upon her breast and would even be buried in there along with Dimmesdale.

Theme

can best be described as one of shame and how those who are plagued by it cope with the shame in various ways, be it through repression or through acceptance and perserverance

Tone

The author's tone towards the novel is serious, formal, and solemn

-Satan dropped it there, I take it, intending a scurrilous jest against your reverence. But, indeed, he was blind and foolish, as he ever and always is. A pure hand needs no glove to cover it!

-Many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman's strength.

-The physician knew then, that, in the minister's regard, he was no longer a trusted friend, but his bitterest enemy.

Literary Elements

circumlocation, imagery, metaphor, symbolism, and chiasmus.

-"I am my mother's child," answered the scarlet vision, "and my name is Pearl!"

-On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A. It was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy, that it had all the effect of a last and fitting decoration to to the apparel which she wore; and which was of a splendor in accordance with taste of the age, but greatly beyond what was allowed by the sumptuary regulations of the colony.

But Hester Prynne, with a mind of native courage and activity, and for so long a period not merely estranged, but outlawed, from society, had habituated herself to such latitude of speculation as was altogether foreign to the clergyman.