The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel hawthorne

Chapter 11

"All that guilty sorrow, hidden from the world, whose great heart would have pitied and forgiven, to be revealed to him, the Pitiless, to him, the Unforgiving! All that dark treasure to be lavished on the very man, to whom nothing else could so adequately pay the debt of vengeance!" - Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Interior of a Heart

Chillingworth is continuing to play mind games with Dimmesdale to gain more control over him and to make his revenge as torturous as possible. Dimmesdale's suffering causes him to deliver some of his most powerful sermons, which are focused on the topic of sin. Although he deeply wants to confess his sins to his parishioners, he cannot bring himself to do so. This keeps him up at night and he even begins to physically harm himself. The theme of hidden sin has consequences which are present throughout this chapter.

Chapter 14

"My finger, pointed at this man, would have hurled him from his pulpit into a dungeon,-- thence, peradventure, to the gallows" - Roger Chillingworth

Hester and the Physician

In this chapter Hester asks Roger to quit tormenting the Reverend. Hester also starts to get the feeling that the townsmen are contemplating to let her remove her Scarlet "A". Also Roger at this point knows that the Reverend is the father of Pearl and because of this, he loses his "human heart" and shifts to getting revenge and being evil. One theme from this chapter is that vengeance is captivating, hence Chillingworth's change of heart. Another theme may include Society judges what they don't Understand, hence Hester's good deeds not counteracting the "evil" from removing the "A".

Chapter 19

"And will he always keep his hand over his heart?" -Pearl

The Child at the Brookside

In this chapter, Pearl has a difficult time recognizing her mom without a expression of sadness on her face and a scarlet letter on her breast. Towards the end of the chapter, Hester is wanting Pearl's acceptance of Dimmesdale while Pearl washes his kiss off because he wont "walk back with them hand-in-hand." The theme of hidden sin has consequences is shown by the secret meetings in the woods and Pearls unaccepting of Dimmesdale. Also, the theme of some sin can come from evil is shown by Pearl and Hester learning to be happy.

Chapter 23

"Thou hast escaped me" -Roger Chillingworth

The Revelation of the Scarlet Letter

"In this chapter, Dimmesdale considers himself to be "the one sinner of the world" , but is able to get Hester and Pearl to stand with him. Due to this, Chillingworth says that Dimmesdale has escaped his revenge but Hester wonders if they will still be together in the future. All of this relates to the themes of some good comes from evil, hidden sin has consequences, and that society judges what they don't understand.

Gothic Novel Evidence

1. Self destruction: Dimmesdale tortured himself

2. Recognized with images of woods: When you went into the forest you were affiliated with “The Black Man”

3. Believed that humans were far from perfect and were evil as they were good: Town leaders believed that people were bad, and evil as they were good

4. The two sides interplay with the scarlet letter

5. Recognized through images of maze: Dimmesdale is trying to find his way through the maze of his emotions

6. Near obsession with evil: Chillingworth was obsessed with evil

7. View the world as evil: Chillingworth viewed the world as dark because he felt like he was betrayed by Hester

8. Memory of past crime or sin: Most of the characters throughout the novel have memory of past sin or crime

9. Death and decay: The death of Dimmesdale and Chillingworth at the end of the novel

10. Repressed fears and desires: Hester has repressed fears, and Dimmesdale’s repressed fear would be Hester because he was afraid of people finding out about them

Prompt Response

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”, Pearl is somewhat lost in the mix of all the chaos surrounding her. Her biological parents love was forbidden and her mother was shunned for past decisions. In the novel her biological family and society are the two conflicting forces that illuminate the themes of sin, rebellion, revenge and judgement.

Her mom was forced to wear the scarlet letter (sin) which led to Pearl being mocked for it. (judgement)

They met in the woods and wanted to run off together but Dimmesdale (rebellion/sin) wouldn’t be seen in public with the two. (judgement)

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