Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter by Cliffs Notes, Susan Van Kirk

By Cliffs Notes, Susan Van Kirk

The unique CliffsNotes research courses supply specialist statement on significant topics, plots, characters, literary units, and historic historical past. the newest new release of titles during this sequence additionally function glossaries and visible parts that supplement the vintage, widespread format.

In CliffsNotes on Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, you discover lifestyles in 17th-century Massachusetts as you persist with the ordeal of Hester Prynne, who has been chanced on responsible of adultery and sentenced to put on a scarlet letter A on her costume as an indication of disgrace. The Scarlet Letter is taken into account to be Hawthorne's most interesting paintings, depicting a global the place the genuine meets the substitute, the particular meets the imaginary — in a vintage tale that's tricky to forget.

This learn consultant rigorously walks you thru each step of Hester's trip by way of offering summaries and significant analyses of every bankruptcy of the unconventional. you are going to additionally discover the lifestyles and heritage of the writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and achieve perception into how he got here to jot down The Scarlet Letter . different good points that assist you learn include

  • Character analyses of significant players
  • A personality map that graphically illustrates the relationships one of the characters
  • Critical essays at the novel's surroundings and constitution, symbolism, and type as a gothic romance
  • A evaluation part that assessments your knowledge
  • A source heart jam-packed with books, articles, movies, and net sites

Classic literature or smooth modern day treasure — you will are aware of it all with specialist details and perception from CliffsNotes examine publications.

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Extra info for Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

Example text

In his speech, Dimmesdale asks Hester to recognize his “accountability” in addressing her, and he begs her to do what he cannot do himself. Publicly, he is her spiritual leader, and, as such, he is responsible for her moral behavior. Privately, however, he was her lover, and he shares the blame of the horrible situation that she is in. He then admonishes her, as her spiritual leader, to name her accomplice so that her soul might find peace on earth and, more important, so that she might better her chance for salvation after her death.

But Hawthorne’s use of the symbol at various points in the story adds a dimension of fantasy to factual description. In the Custom House, Hawthorne claims to have “experienced a sensation . . ” Similarly, here in Chapter 5, he suggests that, at least according to some townspeople, the scarlet A literally sears Hester’s chest and that, “red-hot with infernal fire,” Critical Commentaries: Chapter 5 29 it glows in the dark at night. These accounts create doubt in the reader’s mind regarding the true nature and function of the symbol.

While he falters, Hester encourages him, claiming that he can lead a powerful life for good and still fulfill his mission on earth. When the minister says he cannot do this alone, she tells him she will go with him. Commentary This chapter is pivotal in many respects: It advances the plot and characters by revealing Hester and Dimmesdale’s feelings of the past seven years and the reawakening of their dormant love. Also in this chapter, Hawthorne reveals his philosophy on punishment and forgiveness: that deliberate, calculated acts of malice are far worse than sins of passion.

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