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Scarlet Letter Essay

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Scarlet Letter Essay Topics

Here's a list of Scarlet Letter Essay topics, titles and different search term keyword ideas. The larger the font size the more popular the keyword, this list is sorted in alphabetical order:

Scarlet Letter Essay Examples

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Consequences Of Human Desire In The Scarlet Letter


Words: 688    Pages: 3    Paragraphs: 6    Sentences: 40    Read Time: 02:30In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, many of the characters suffer from the tolls of sin, but none as horribly as Hester's daughter, Pearl. Throughout the novel, Pearl is a symbol of the sin that her mother has committed, and also suffers from this sin. Pearl is portrayed as an offspring of vice, and is even characterized as demonic by her mother. The austere Puritan society isolates Pear

              In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, many of the characters suffer from the tolls of sin, but none as horribly as Hester's daughter, Pearl. Throughout the novel, Pearl is a symbol of the sin that her mother has committed, and also suffers from this sin. Pearl is portrayed as an offspring of vice, and is even characterized as demonic by her mother. The austere Puritan society isolates Pear

Psychology Essay +1

Class 9 (High School)

The Scarlet Letter Novel Essay


Words: 647    Pages: 2    Paragraphs: 5    Sentences: 48    Read Time: 02:21The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne has many different characters that have each committed a sin. Each character's sin has caused them to change throughout the novel. One character, Dimmesdale, changes significantly throughout each scaffold scene. Sinners are expected to bare the punishment of humiliation by standing upon the scaffold for the townspeople to ridicule them. Dimmesdale changes

              The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne has many different characters that have each committed a sin. Each character's sin has caused them to change throughout the novel. One character, Dimmesdale, changes significantly throughout each scaffold scene. Sinners are expected to bare the punishment of humiliation by standing upon the scaffold for the townspeople to ridicule them. Dimmesdale changes

Class 8 (Middle School)

The Scarlet Letter Book Review


Words: 495    Pages: 2    Paragraphs: 6    Sentences: 21    Read Time: 01:48 "I will not speak - And my child must seek a heavenly father; she shall never know an earthly one!" A touching human story of a time that makes us wonder how far religious and moral extremes could take us, this classic has not only survived but flourished. At once a dire warning and a moving story of the human will to survive, The Scarlet Letter is still read by scholars and laymen alike mo

              "I will not speak - And my child must seek a heavenly father; she shall never know an earthly one!"
             
              A touching human story of a time that makes us wonder how far religious and moral extremes could take us, this classic has not only survived but flourished. At once a dire warning and a moving story of the human will to survive, The Scarlet Letter is still read by scholars and laymen alike mo

Class 12 (High School)

The Significant Character Changes In The Scarlet Letter


Words: 639    Pages: 2    Paragraphs: 5    Sentences: 30    Read Time: 02:19In Nathanial Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, there are many characters that experience significant changes. One particular example of character transformation can be seen with the young Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, who commits the sin of adultery with Hester Prynne. He is also commits the sin of hypocrisy. It is clear that Dimmesdale experiences the greatest transformation out all the characters. A

              In Nathanial Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, there are many characters that experience significant changes. One particular example of character transformation can be seen with the young Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, who commits the sin of adultery with Hester Prynne. He is also commits the sin of hypocrisy. It is clear that Dimmesdale experiences the greatest transformation out all the characters. A

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Class 12 (High School)

Hesters Pain In The Scarlet Letter


Words: 1447    Pages: 5    Paragraphs: 7    Sentences: 91    Read Time: 05:15The character in Nathaniel Hawthorne's book, The Scarlet Letter, who suffers the most is Hester Prynne. While there is an abundance of suffering in Nathaniel Hawthorne's book overall, Hester's character suffers more than the others. It has been said about Hawthorne that "Ostensibly his "triumphant" sense of professional satisfaction depends on breaking a woman's heart and mind, much as his narrati

              The character in Nathaniel Hawthorne's book, The Scarlet Letter, who suffers the most is Hester Prynne. While there is an abundance of suffering in Nathaniel Hawthorne's book overall, Hester's character suffers more than the others. It has been said about Hawthorne that "Ostensibly his "triumphant" sense of professional satisfaction depends on breaking a woman's heart and mind, much as his narrati

Class 8 (Middle School)

Sin In The Scarlet Letter


Words: 1329    Pages: 5    Paragraphs: 7    Sentences: 74    Read Time: 04:49Everyone at some point in their live has committed a sin. Whether it's a small mistake or a major one, for certain people, especially religious ones, consider these mistakes to be a massive issue. These people often because of their opinions, judge others for the mistakes or sins they do. They criticize others and act like if they were innocent and had never done a mistake before. In The Scarlet L

              Everyone at some point in their live has committed a sin. Whether it's a small mistake or a major one, for certain people, especially religious ones, consider these mistakes to be a massive issue. These people often because of their opinions, judge others for the mistakes or sins they do. They criticize others and act like if they were innocent and had never done a mistake before. In The Scarlet L

Class 9 (High School)

Writing a literary analysis essay about a classical literary work is a common assignment in literature courses. Not only does it force students to read the original text, but it also pushes them to delve into the author’s opinions and commentaries on the text. ‘The Scarlet Letter’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of the richest novels when it comes to themes and ideas, which is why many instructors choose it for literary analysis write-ups.

If you have this book on your reading list and have to write a literary analysis on it, refer to the list below to decide on an aspect to tackle. If you want to come up with your own idea, check our 10 facts on ‘The Scarlet Letter’ by N. Hawthorne for a literary analysis. Without further ado, the topics:

  1. The Role of Pearl in Hester’s Transformation
  2. An Exploration of the Relationship between Hester’s Identity and the Scarlet Letter
  3. The Contrast between Herter’s Self-Created Identity and the One Which Society Assigns to Her
  4. The Scarlet Letter as a Commentary on the American History
  5. The Use of Symbols: Puritan vs. the Narrator
  6. The Functions of Physical Settings in the Scarlet Letter
  7. An Analysis of Chillingworth’s Ideas of Revenge
  8. Pearl: A Blessing and a Curse for Hester
  9. Pearl as a Symbol of Hester’s Conscience
  10. The Contrasting Behavior of Children and Adults in the Scarlet Letter
  11. Hawthorne’s Ideas of the Inherently Flawed Human as Presented in The Scarlet Letter
  12. Hester Prynne: When Women Break Cultural Bonds and Gain Personal Power
  13. Sphere Imagery: Purpose and Effectiveness
  14. The Scarlet Letter: An Embodiment of the Tradition of Romanticism?
  15. The Difference between Hester and Dimmesdale
  16. An Exploration of How Tone, Word Choice, and Symbolism Help In Character Development in the Scarlet Letter
  17. The Literary Devices in the Scarlet Letter: Types, Usage and Effect on Persuasiveness
  18. Hypocrisy and Conformity in the Scarlet Letter
  19. Sin in the Puritan Community: A Comparison between the Punishments of Men and Women
  20. Hester Prynne: A Sinner and a Saint

You can use these topics as is or tweak them a little to suit the purpose of your thesis. If you wish to explore a more specific aspect, you can choose to refine any of the topics from our list. This will ensure that you choose something substantial and relevant.

A sample essay is added below to help inspire your literary analysis. The following lines explore the symbolism of the major characters in the text.

Sample Literary Analysis: An Exploration of How Tone, Word Choice, and Symbolism Help in Character Development in the Scarlet Letter

‘The Scarlet Letter’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of the prominent romance novels despite not appearing to be one. It delves deeply into the Puritan community, highlighting its rigid rules of life and how its members could suffer by going against them. One of the aspects that make ‘The Scarlet Letter’ truly immortal is the author’s extensive use of symbols. Therefore, in order to understand the text, it is necessary to analyze the myriad of symbols presented.

In literature, a symbol is often a concrete idea used to represent a more complex, abstract idea. This idea is broader in meaning and scope, and is usually a religious, philosophical or moral concept. The Puritans view the world through allegories. Simple patterns of nature such as a meteor moving through the sky held a deeply religious meaning. This is just one facet of the repressive thinking. Hawthorne shows their moral attitudes in a different light through the symbolism of his characters.

The Puritan society looks at Hester as a woman fallen from grace, Dimmesdale as a saint-like personality, and was likely to consider Chillingworth as a victim and a betrayed husband. The author turns these interpretations around; he ultimately shows Hester as a sensitive human being, strips Dimmesdale of his saint-like façade, and reveals Chillingworth as an offender of humanity who pursues evil and revenge.

The Puritan mentality refuses to accept the reality of these characters. Hester is shunned and Dimmesdale’s confession is not believed by many people. This shows that underneath the public displays of piety so favored by Puritanism, there exists a grim underside that goes unseen. The static and stagnant thinking of the Puritanical society is shown through the transformation of characters as symbols and the subsequent refusal of the society to accept this change.

Hester is a fallen woman in the beginning; she is publically shamed and shunned, causing her to suffer greatly. She struggles to understand the letter’s symbolic meaning only to come out as a strong woman in the end. Hester gains a unique understanding of humanity and the struggles of other people. As Hawthorne says, “The tendency of her fate and fortunes had been to set her free. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread.”

Dimmesdale is a private sinner; his sins remain a secret. His public face presents a stark contrast with his private face. The Colony of Massachusetts looks at him as an embodiment of sanctity and goodness, but this is just a façade. Dimmesdale struggles internally and drowns in the storm raging between his holiness and guilt. Dimmesdale is a symbol of hypocrisy and moral weakness. He refuses to do the right thing and the reader comes to view his piety as something superficial. Ultimately, he manages to redeem his soul, albeit quite late.

Pearl is by far the strongest of the allegorical images in this text. She symbolizes the freedom of nature. Hester views her as “the living hieroglyphic” of her sin. Hester describes Pearl to the community leaders by saying, “she is my happiness! — she is my torture. . . See ye not, she is the scarlet letter, only capable of being loved, and so endowed with a million-fold the power of retribution for my sin?”

The Scarlet Letter displays symbols through characterization, colors, location and light. The author’s brilliant use of these symbols and their transformation is a major reason for the acclaim and popularity of this classical work and why it has become a peerless example of romance novels.

After reading this analysis, you probably have a few suggestions and thoughts to make it appear better. So, quickly jot those down and begin creating an outline for your own literary analysis. If you need more help with this assignment, check out our guide on how to write a literary analysis on ‘The Scarlet Letter’ by N. Hawthorne.

References:
Hunter, Dianne, Seduction and theory: readings of gender, representation, and rhetoric. University of Illinois Press. 1989. Pgs. 186-187
Schreiner, Samuel A., Jr. The Concord Quartet: Alcott, Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, and the Friendship That Freed the American Mind. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006: 158.ISBN 978-0-471-64663-1
Crowley, J. Donald, and Orestes Brownson. Chapter 50: [Orestes Brownson], From A Review In Brownson’s Quarterly Review.” Nathaniel Hawthorne (0-415-15930-X) (1997): 175–179. Literary Reference Center Plus.
Wineapple, Brenda. Hawthorne: A Life. Random House: New York, 2003: 209–210. ISBN 0-8129-7291-0.
Wright, John Hardy. Hawthorne’s Haunts in New England. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2008: 47. ISBN 978-1-59629-425-7.
McFarland, Philip. Hawthorne in Concord. New York: Grove Press, 2004: 136. ISBN 0-8021-1776-7
Miller, Edwin Haviland. Salem is my Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1991: 299. ISBN 0-87745-332-2

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