Skip Nav

“The Scarlet Letter” – Thesis Essay


❶Who made me so? How to destroy the world and everyone in it?

Study Questions

20 Essay Topics for ‘The Scarlet Letter’ by N. Hawthorne for a Literary Analysis
Quality papers at the best prices
How to cite this page

After all, Hester is forced to wear a scarlet "A" as a symbol of her adultery. Then, she is paraded through the streets for others to judge her sin. What's worse is that suddenly her husband appears ready to seek revenge. The amount of judgment she is forced to endure is almost unfathomable, especially if you consider her supposed sin from a gender point of view. Are the rules the same for men as for women during this historical period?

Why or why not? People love to judge and formulate punishments based upon those judgments. Your thesis could go in several directions, but the strongest thesis is one that focuses on a particular aspect.

Here is an example you may want to think about. Make sure, as with any thesis statement, that you feel comfortable backing up your statement with both textual proof as well as formal critique. Nathaniel Hawthorne attempts to show how guilt can be a form of everlasting punishment by showing how each character endures much suffering from it.

Hester Prynne, the main character in the novel, suffers a variety of types of punishment for the crime of adultery she committed. As the book opens, Hester is brought forth from the jail and walked to the scaffold. For the first time being seen in public named an adulterer, Hester shies from the public as they mock her. Soon, it did not matter what other people thought of Hester because of her sin. She chose not to live with the humiliation, but she did have to live with herself.

Having to deal with her daughter Pearl day in and day out is a punishment in itself as well. Most people, including Hester, view Peal as a demon child. However, Hester hesitates to punish Pearl for being so. Guilt as Reparation for Sin, paragraph The minister Dimmesdale is greatly affected by the weight of guilt he carries with him everyday of his proceeding life. Since his sin is unknown to society, there is not a public crowd to look down upon him, but one Roger Chillingworth who lives just to torture Dimmesdale.

He wishes and prays most often that the public know of his wrong, rather than hold it secret, as it would be less painful. Mine burns in secret!! Fear, is in fact, the only reason Dimmesdale fails to confess himself. He feels guilty for not being able to be a father figure to Pearl, for letting Hester suffer on her own, and, of course, just for his own sinful actions.

In the end, it is the guilt that kills him, not any public humiliation. Truthfully, Chillingworth is a cold-hearted soul. He does, however, have some guilt. Chillingworth, indeed, feels a bit guilty for marrying Hester in the first place. He and Hester both knew they did not love each other, but decided to marry anyway. Chillingworth might have known something like what Hester did would have happened eventually.

After all, Chillingworth was much too old and unattractive for a young woman like Hester to feel anything worth making the relationship work. Even though it was out of his hands, Chillingworth also feels a bit bad about leaving Hester as he did for so long. This explains his excuse for becoming a fiend. Who made me so? Because Pearl is dubbed an evil being as an illegitimate child, she suffers much public ridicule and humiliation.

Each of the four main characters, in their own forms, has and must suffer from a form of guilt. Thus, Reverend Dimmesdale is still committed to ignoring the values of truth and going along with public perception. The forest is also a location where the truth is not forbidden, but accepted.

The trees of the forest, unlike the people in town, listen to Hester and Pearl and welcome them, sins and all. On the edge of the forest, Hester and Pearl see the town and know that they do not belong there. Their knowledge of the truth is dangerous to the townspeople. Therefore, they choose to live in their own world, free from the perception of the town. Hester is weary of the town, warning Pearl, "We must not always talk in the market place of what happens to us in the forest…" Throughout the novel, the scaffold and forest show up in the book and represent many different things.

Their primary function, however, is to provide a driving wedge between those who recognise reality, like Hester and Pearl, and those who only see what they want to see. These people, blindly guided by public perception hide themselves in lies and never confront the truth when it is presented. Even while the dying reverend confesses his sin on the scaffold, the townspeople deny ". I agree with the poster who suggests you remove the word cockiness from the thesis.

Having read the book, and it being one of my favourite ever books, I would also suggest that you look at the role that magic, myth and morality plays in the book and the affect it has on the reader. Through its description of Hester Prynne and its evolution of her character, The Scarlet Letter tries to convince readers that radical individualism threatens to lead to both a social and psychological anarchism ultimately worse than the repressive society it opposes.

I would suggest changing the word "cockiness" in your thesis to "arrogance". Cocky is a slang word and slang is usually frowned upon. I am going to get the book tomorrow in Belgium and re-read it in two or three days, and actually answer you! I used to be a Nathaniel Hawthorne reader.

Dont forget to mention the symbolism that this book is filled with. I didn't do my homework and I'm not doing yours for you.

Related Questions

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

SAMPLE THESIS: In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne suffers unjust punishment at the hands of the townsfolk, her husband, and the rules of the Puritan religion. Within the thesis example above, the writer states his/her argument as to what the essay is going to be about, and what exact direction the paper will take in relation .

Privacy FAQs

These thesis statements offer a short summary of “The Scarlet Letter” in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them.

About Our Ads

Essay about thesis proposal on scarlet letter On the Symbolism of The Scarlet Letter Introduction: Nathaniel Hawthorne is a great romantic novelist in America in the 19th century. His novel, The Scarlet Letter, is considered as the first American psychological novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. These essay topics for "The Scarlet Letter" by Hawthorne will help you explore the way this subject can go. Sink your teeth into them and see how they work. Writing a literary analysis essay about a classical literary work is a common assignment in .

Cookie Info

So how do you identify the themes in The Scarlet Letter, and which one do you choose to write about? A theme is defined as the main idea of a story. There can, of course, be more than one theme. This is definitely the case in The Scarlet Letter. In his novel, “The Scarlet Letter”, Nathaniel Hawthorne explains how the punishment of guilt causes the most suffering among those affected. As with any piece, symbolism plays an important role in representing the main ideas of a novel.