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A look at the evil of isolation in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

This makes her a social outsider, an alien in society.

  1. He feels suffocated in this repressive environment, but is too weak to make an effort to get out of it.
  2. Reading on The Scarlet Letter. This, therefore, further adds to the overall gloomy and cynical atmosphere of the work.
  3. As a symbol of sin, Hester is viewed by the strict Puritanical town as an outsider, a presence of evil, and, ultimately, one who is detested by God. Dimmesdale, with his hand over his heart, secretly tortured himself mentally as well as physically to denote his suffering.

And she must bear the cross for the rest of her life. Roger Chilllingworth is an outsider in the community. And Arthur Dimmesdale is strange even to himself for the pangs of conscience constantly trouble and torture him.

He is divided between his priestly duties and desire for revealing his true nature to the people who worship him. Each one of the principal characters in the novel suffers from isolation or alienation from society. In the end, Arthur Dimmesdale, Hester Prynne and Pearl stand on the scaffold, isolated from others, thus, underlining the theme that runs like a strand through the novel.

In the drama of society and solitude which is enacted here, there is no doubt about the side on which the novel aligns our sympathies. The blame for the tragic predicament falls heavily on the Puritan arbiters of her destiny.

  • Sense he was not strong enough to come clean to the townspeople he allowed this guilt to run his life;
  • The Scarlet letter distances her from others;
  • Revealing the sinister sides of humanity, The Scarlet Letter expresses the torment and anguish that humanity sets upon each other through hypocritical laws and its rejection of love and passion in favor of principles and morality;
  • Paradoxically, Dimmesdale views himself as an evil fiend and punished himself with daily abuse and starvation;
  • She is a lonely child who plays with inanimate objects or with animals, brooks and flowers-a victim of the sin of her parents and, the repressiveness of the Puritan society;
  • In the drama of society and solitude which is enacted here, there is no doubt about the side on which the novel aligns our sympathies.

Hester, with the scarlet letter emblazoned on her bosom, is shunned by the Puritan society. She takes up residence in an isolated cottage on the outskirts of the town. She is alone in her daily rounds to the village and back in her attempt to bring up Pearl, who hardly seems to be human. Dimmesdale, with his hand over his heart, secretly tortured himself mentally as well as physically to denote his suffering.

Roger Chillingworth is alone in her pursuit of revenge.

What does Hawthorne say about the evils of isolation in The Scarlet Letter?

He is generally seen stooping and collecting herbs in the forest, or at the fires in his laboratory. Loneliness seems to be the curse blighting the principal characters in The Scarlet Letter.

Isolation or alienation from the mainstream seems to be their lot. Hester and Dimmesdale are isolated because of the original sin, Chillingworth by the burning hatred and desire for revenge in his heart, and Pearl because her elfin-like nature and her constant hostility toward the village children who mock at and ridicule her mother.

Each one of them is a social outcast, living in a world of his or her own with the barest communication with the outside world.

Related Questions

The Scarlet letter distances her from others. But it contributes to her moral and mental growth. It leads to private suffering and torture. He feels suffocated in this repressive environment, but is too weak to make an effort to get out of it.

Physical and Psychological Isolation in The Scarlet Letter

Death is his only deliverance. This leads to his spiritual isolation and death. People see the Devil incarnate in the hunchbacked physician. Pearl is a free spirit, too flighty to be tied down to anything. This is her isolation. She is a lonely child who plays with inanimate objects or with animals, brooks and flowers-a victim of the sin of her parents and, the repressiveness of the Puritan society.

  • This is because she committed adultery, a crime sinning against marriage;
  • Over time, the town grew semi fond of her because she was an amazing seamstress, however they would not allow her to embroider any wedding vales;
  • Death is his only deliverance;
  • Paradoxically, Dimmesdale views himself as an evil fiend and punished himself with daily abuse and starvation;
  • Over time, the town grew semi fond of her because she was an amazing seamstress, however they would not allow her to embroider any wedding vales.

Eventually she symbolizes only ray of hope and leaves the settlement for greener pastures where she settles down. This is the theme of isolation or alienation that binds all the principal characters in the novel and makes it a unified whole.

Reading on The Scarlet Letter.