Scarlet Letter Response


Response to The Scarlet Letter "Confess thy truth and thou

shall have eternal rest." I belive that is the moral to be taught

in this novel of inspirational love, yet a novel of much

sorrow. The impossible became possible in The Scarlet

Letter, a story set back in the Puritan Times. In this

response, I will give my reactions in writing to different

aspects of the novel;the characchters, my likes and dislikes,

my questions, and my opinion of the harsh Puritain lifestyle.

Hester Prynne, the Reverend Dimmesdale, and Roger

Chillingworth each suffered guilt in their own way in the

novel The Scarlet Letter. In the beginning of the novel,

Hester Prynne should have not suffered the way she did on

the scaffold alone. She was forced to be intergated by the

high-officials of the town, while holding her little Pearl in

arms. Making matters worse, the father of the child was in

that very group of officals. She was then sentenced to wear

the scarlet letter "A", showing her guilt "externally". Unable

to take it off, she was forced to show her guilt to the entire

settlement. However, the Reverend Dimmesdale suffered

"internally", with a scarlet letter of his own engraved in his

mind, and on his chest as well. He felt like he betrayed God,

and beat himself in a frenzy to prove his wrongdoing. He

often questioned wheather his authority was true or not.

Roger Chillingworth suffered the least, because he only

failed to reveal the secret that he knew, the father of the

child who Hester Prynne was forced to live with. This small

restriction to his life forced him to suffer "internally". I had

different likes and dislikes in the novel The Scarlet Letter.

There were many things that needed to be judged to fit into

the given catagories, including; character attitudes, and

character decisions. For example, the attitude displayed

from the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale was rather unnapealing

to me. There are different ways of settling ones guilt rather

than whipping oneself in a closet. The one character whose

attitude was appealing to me was that of Pearl\'s. She

showed that mistakes in a relationship often lead to bad

situations. Her mischeif and connection to the devil are

examples of just those situations. Character decisions played

an euqally important role. For example, I thought the

descision for Hester not to tell who was the father of Pearl

on the scaffold to be very brave, but was wrong. She could

have ended it a lot quicker if she told the truth. A descision

that I supportted was the plan for Hester, the Reverend

Dimmesdale and Pearl to leave town, because it was a way

to start a new life. Certain questions came about when

reading The Scarlet Letter. Many of them involved small

details. . For example, why did Hester not tell her daughter

at a younger age what the "A" embroidered on her clothes

meant? Why did the minister wear elaborate garments when

conducting his self-punishment in the closet? However, other

questions were involving larger situations. Why did the

minster keep quiet when he knew he wouldn\'t live for much

longer? What made Hester finnally remove her scarlet letter

(for a short period of time)? The Puritanic age was a harsh

and brutal period of time. At many times, citizens had no

rights whatsoever. The persecuted depended on the fate of

the few elite, or the top officials of town. Their laws were

srict regaurding having a child out of wedlock, and if not

followed, a scarlet letter "A" would place itself upon that

person(s). My thoughts on the whole Puritanic epoch are not

sympothetic. The strict rules set guildlines and formed a

society in which much of it had no problems. I would even

think that if applied to currnet times, it would turn society

around dramatically.