As for Dimmesdale, the "cheating minister", his sin gives him "sympathies so intimate with the sinful brotherhood of mankind, so that his chest vibrate[s] in unison with theirs. 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.
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The rose bush's beauty forms a striking contrast to all that surrounds it; as later the beautifully embroidered scarlet "A" will be held out in part as an invitation to find "some sweet moral blossom" in the ensuing, tragic tale and in part as an image that "the deep heart of nature" perhaps God may look more kindly on the errant Hester and her child than her Puritan neighbors do. Throughout the work, the nature images contrast with the stark darkness of the Puritans and their systems. Chillingworth's misshapen body reflects or symbolizes the anger in his soul, which builds as the novel progresses, similar to the way Dimmesdale's illness reveals his inner turmoil.
The outward man reflects the condition of the heart; an observation thought inspired by the deterioration of Edgar Allan Poe , whom Hawthorne "much admired". Another theme is the extreme legalism of the Puritans and how Hester chooses not to conform to their rules and beliefs. Hester was rejected by the villagers even though she spent her life doing what she could to help the sick and the poor. Because of the social shunning , she spent her life mostly in solitude, and would not go to church. As a result, she retreats into her own mind and her own thinking.
Her thoughts begin to stretch and go beyond what would be considered by the Puritans as safe or even Christian.
She still sees her sin, but begins to look on it differently than the villagers ever have. She begins to believe that a person's earthly sins do not necessarily condemn them.
She even goes so far as to tell Dimmesdale that their sin has been paid for by their daily penance and that their sin will not keep them from getting to heaven, however, the Puritans believed that such a sin surely condemns. But Hester had been alienated from the Puritan society, both in her physical life and spiritual life. When Dimmesdale dies, she knows she has to move on because she can no longer conform to the Puritans' strictness.
Her thinking is free from religious bounds and she has established her own different moral standards and beliefs. It was long thought that Hawthorne originally planned The Scarlet Letter to be a shorter novelette , part of a collection named Old Time Legends , and that his publisher, James Thomas Fields , convinced him to expand the work to a full-length novel. Fields persuaded Hawthorne to publish The Scarlet Letter alone along with the earlier-completed "Custom House" essay but he had nothing to do with the length of the story. It was the last Salem home where the Hawthorne family lived.
A 2,copy second edition included a preface by Hawthorne dated March 30, , that stated he had decided to reprint his Introduction "without the change of a word The only remarkable features of the sketch are its frank and genuine good-humor As to enmity, or ill-feeling of any kind, personal or political, he utterly disclaims such motives". The Scarlet Letter was also one of the first mass-produced books in America.
In the mid-nineteenth century, bookbinders of home-grown literature typically hand-made their books and sold them in small quantities. The first mechanized printing of The Scarlet Letter , 2, volumes, sold out within ten days,  and was widely read and discussed to an extent not much experienced in the young country up until that time. On its publication, critic Evert Augustus Duyckinck , a friend of Hawthorne's, said he preferred the author's Washington Irving -like tales.
Another friend, critic Edwin Percy Whipple , objected to the novel's "morbid intensity" with dense psychological details, writing that the book "is therefore apt to become, like Hawthorne, too painfully anatomical in his exhibition of them".
leondumoulin.nl/language/nonfiction/571-good-grades.php On the other hand, 20th-century writer D. Lawrence said that there could not be a more perfect work of the American imagination than The Scarlet Letter.
One can often return to it; it supports familiarity and has the inexhaustible charm and mystery of great works of art. The Scarlet Letter has inspired numerous film, television, and stage adaptations, and plot elements have influenced several novels, musical works, and screen productions. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Scarlet Letter disambiguation.
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