This essay 11/29/98 has a total of 728 words and 3 pages.
The Scarlet Letter
During the romanticism period, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote the novel, The Scarlet Letter, which used the romanticist idea of deep intuition and inner feelings, allowing the characters to have insight of the plots and secrets hidden in the strict Puritan community that they lived in. Throughout the novel many of the characters have this intuition, making the book more alluring to readers when trying figuring out what each character really knows.
At the beginning of the novel, we are shown Pearl's natural child-like instincts for the Preacher, who is actually her father. When Pearl was first a baby, Hester and her were shamed on the scaffold while Reverend Dimmesdale, her father, preached to the awed crowd of the deep sin committed by Hester, and Pearl reaches out for him, "and held up its little arms," (pg. 68) as if reaching for her father. In another instance, they were all discussing Pearl at the Governors house and Pearl, totally out of her independent character, went over to Dimmesdale and "taking his hand in the grasp of both her own, laid her cheek against it." (pg. 118) That was really unlike Pearl, who was a "wild and flighty little elf," (pg. 118) that didn't display affection like that. Both of these bonding experiences occurred while she was younger and both times never caused speculation by the town.
Not only Pearl, but Mr. Chillingworth, Hester's husband, had the intuition of knowing, rather sensing that Dimmesdale was the father. It was never told to him by anyone, or even speculated that the preacher was the sinner, but he could sense it anyway and knew he had to become close to Dimmesdale to figure him out. He also knew, not as a doctor, but as an evil man, that when Mr. Dimmesdale grabbed at his chest it was caused by something greater than an illness, it was caused by something Chillingworth knew how to provoke. The most amazing of his intuitions, would be at the end of the novel when he was already aware of Hester and Dimmesdale's plans to leave with Pearl on a ship to England. The mariner first informed Hester of his plans when explaining to her "that this physician here- Chillingworth, he calls himself- is minded to try my [the mariner's] cabin-fare with you [Hester]." (pg. 247) That was a most devastating revelation to the reader, fading the hope given that they could run off together and be happy forever.
Another character who was all-knowing in an ominous way, was Mistress Hibbins who was always aware of what was happening in the affair. She first tried to persuade Hester to join the witches by coming to the Black Man's meeting in the woods. Mistress Hibbins knew of the bad circumstances and knew Hester was close to not caring enough to sign her name in the Black Man's book. Hester even answered her saying she would have "willingly gone with thee [Hibbins] into the forest, and signed my [Hester's] name in the Black Man's book." (pg. 119) She also scared Pearl telling her of how her mother had come and signed her name already to the point of Pearl inquiring her mother of it, who admitted it and was not aware that Mistress Hibbins had filled her mind with all these evil thoughts . And she too, knew of her rendevous in the woods with Dimmesdale and made comment of it to him of it the next day in the town telling him, "?So Reverend Sir, you've made a visit into the forest,' observed the witch lady." (pg. 232)
This book put light on a lot of ideas intertwined to a great novel. I only had the opportunity to enlighten the idea of the romanticists, and of the intuition the characters showed throughout the whole book. Nathaniel Hawthorne is a magnificent writer who knew how to include his type of writing with the period of romanticism, and with many other writing techniques that need to be analyzed closely to notice and appreciate. The Scarlet Letter was a great book that I would refer others to. The characters all showed strong and unique characteristics that I felt made the book so well developed, one of those characteristics being the intuition and insight
Topics Related to 11/29/98
English-language films, The Scarlet Letter, Arthur Dimmesdale, Chillingworth, Hester, Pearl, Hawthorne, Rogers Version, Hester Prynne
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