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The beliefs of the 17th century puritan society in the 1995 film the scarlet letter

The eponymous scarlet letter.

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Hester and Chillingworth had a marriage of this at the very least. Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: There's a recent theory that Dimmesdale was being poisoned by Chillingworth with two poisonous plants mentioned in the novel — henbane and deadly nightshade. Both contain scopolamine and atropine, poisons used by Native Americans which can cause cardiac irregularities, hallucinations, lack of coordination and voice changes; the former causes a deep, distinctive sleep and suggestibility, while the latter causes pupil dilation and chest rashes.

Maybe, but Hawthorne published a short story six months before this that uses atropine, and his wife was treated with scopolamine and had that sleep. Since he also had a pretty strong interest in botany, he knew what plants would've produced the poisons. Hawthorne explicitly states that no one can know and leaves it to the reader to decide. Pearl is named after a scripture passage which tells of a man who sells everything that he has to buy one pearl of superb value.

Dimmesdale's life is dimmed by his guilt. Chillingworth has a very chilling personality. Considering that this is not his real name he is the husband of Hester Prynne, after all and given some of his narration, it seems that he understood it himself and chose a name accordingly.

Lampshaded by the narrator in the opening, when he goes on about him being removed from office in the custom-house being like having his head cut off. Eventually, he just says "So much for my figurative self".

The Inspector of the Customs-house is 80 years old, but completely healthy and only dies later in a horse accident.

Puritan town in the scarlet letter

After figuring out who impregnated his estranged wife, he adopts a fake identity, convinces the guy to move in with him and spends the next seven years messing with him psychologically and maybe medically to torture him with guilt, while also going to great efforts to keep him healthy enough to keep him from prematurely dying.

He poisons the man he's supposed to be treating as revenge for being cuckolded, which is definitely in violation of the Hippocratic Oath. Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Never Live It Down: In-Universethis is the point of the scarlet "A" Hester has to wear and the "A" seared onto Dimmesdale's chest. Our narrator who finds the manuscript has no name, but he's basically author Nathaniel Hawthorne, who heavily based "The Custom House" on his time working in said establishment. Plenty of scholars pointed out that Hester was capable of boarding a ship away from the Puritan society and maybe find Pearl a much loving environment, though her strange spiritual obligation to stay near her Puritan village and lover is a bit self-serving.

Though she does her best taking care of Pearl and creating a loving environment within her home, even if society shuns them. Dimmesdale punishes himself with whippingsfasts and vigils. Taking up about a quarter of the book, this account details the narrator's finding of the manuscript and a long-winded description of his job and coworkers at the Custom House, as well as his thoughts on transcendentalism and the nature of sin. Most readers just skip it.

A particularly blatant example. The antagonist Chillingworth does objectively good things: When Chillingworth comes home to see his wife and indirectly himself publicly shamed, he comforts Hester, medicates her and her daughter and mostly blames himself for his wife's infidelity. He helps Dimmesdale medically and emotionally by correctly insisting that Dimmesdale will never fully recover until he relieves himself of whatever is weighing his heart. Despite these good acts, the Puritans of Boston seem ungrateful for having a man who has put so much effort into becoming a great doctor for them and seem to interpret everything he does in the worst possible light.

Everyone, including the narrator and Chillingworth himself, assumes that he is doing everything for the very worst of reasons. Just to hammer in his badness the narrator makes Chillingworth ugly, and uglier as the story goes on.

Protagonist Dimmesdale on the other hand does objectively bad things by impregnating Hester so she is exposed to public shame and causing her a great deal of guilt and then letting Hester take all the blame and all responsibility for the child.

He is extremely hypocritical in participating with the public shaming of Hester, even pretending to try to make her give away the name of her lover. He neither has the courage to confess and face the consequences, nor to take his secret to the grave. Choosing the most cowardly possible solution he waits until he only has seconds left to live to confess.

  • Pearl becomes deathly ill within the span of a single afternoon;
  • On Election Day, Dimmesdale gives what is called one of his most inspired sermons;
  • Standing over Dimmesdale Thou hast escaped me thou hast escaped me!

Yet he obviously has the sympathy of the narrator, Hester and all of Boston. Mistress Hibbins' eventual execution. Chillingworth lives for revenge on Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale finally reveals to the townspeople that he was Hester's lover by exposing the red "A" on his own chest. His heart immediately gives out and he dies. There's a possible case of this with Chillingworth. Although he died because he no longer had Dimmesdale to torment, he leaves Pearl a fortune. Red Eyes, Take Warning: Chillingworth's eyes eventually become red.

A lot of American high school English classes that try to cover every major American literary movement use this book as a substitute for actual 17th-century texts. Hester does regain the respect of the community by continuously being charitable and a hard worker in spite of her sin, so much so that the magistrate urged her to remove the scarlet "A," which she had been under no obligation to keep wearing anyway.

Even so, Hester feels that society shouldn't claim her back and that she must find her own way of dealing with her sin. Hester is punished and discriminated toward by the people because of her adultery.

Hester very rarely shows emotion in day-to-day life, but that doesn't mean she's not full of passion. Talk About the Weather: What Hester and Dimmesdale first do when they meet in the forest. Hester is hinted to have been buried alongside Dimmesdale. According to the preface, the narrator is basing his novel on a historical record. Obviously he is making most of it up, including almost all of the dialogue, since all the eyewitnesses to these meetings are dead by the end of the novel.

Chillingworth has a rather subdued one when Dimmesdale dies. He's spent years trying to subtly torment the man who impregnated his estranged wife, and finally gets to see Dimmesdale confess his infidelity in front of the entire community. The problem is that Dimmesdale dies almost immediately after, leaving Chillingworth with the realization that such a master plan is rather pointless when the target denies you the luxury of savoring the payoff.

Standing over Dimmesdale Thou hast escaped me thou hast escaped me! The main narrative ends with Dimmesdale's death. A year after that, Chillingworth, forever denied his revenge, dies a shriveled shell of his old self. Hester and Pearl leave for Europe, but the former later returns to Boston to continue her charitable work, while occasionally receiving letters from Pearl, who has apparently married a European nobleman and has since inherited Chillingworth's property.

Eventually Hester is finally being forgiven for her sin, and upon her death was apparently buried alongside Dimmesdale. Wise Beyond Their Years: Although this could be simply because Nathaniel Hawthorne did not know a whole lot about children when he wrote this novel.

Tropes found in the 1926 film:

Her unusual sense of perception is obviously deliberate, but she was also walking and talking long before she should have been.

Nathaniel's first child, Una, died young, is reputed to be the inspiration for Pearl. Equally, as mentioned, it's implied that Pearl may not be completely human. Come, therefore, and let us fling mud at them! Hester was already married when she slept with Dimmesdale.

This book contains examples of:

The husband later shows up and finds out, and the plot unfolds from there. Tropes found in the 1926 film: A throwaway gag has three men in a row in church using these to listen to gossip about Hester Prynne. Hester is established in her first scene as a very un-Puritan free spirit, wearing a white dress as opposed to the black Puritan garb, chasing a bird around.

Pearl becomes deathly ill within the span of a single afternoon.

  • A lot of American high school English classes that try to cover every major American literary movement use this book as a substitute for actual 17th-century texts;
  • Throughout the work, the nature images contrast with the stark darkness of the Puritans and their systems;
  • The subtlety is that the minister's belief is his own cheating, convincing himself at every stage of his spiritual pilgrimage that he is saved;
  • Hester and Pearl leave for Europe, but the former later returns to Boston to continue her charitable work, while occasionally receiving letters from Pearl, who has apparently married a European nobleman and has since inherited Chillingworth's property;
  • Chillingworth lives for revenge on Dimmesdale;
  • Hailed by Henry James as "the finest piece of imaginative writing yet put forth in the country," Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter reaches to our nation's.