Scarlet Letter Appearance Versus Reality Essay, Research Paper
Appearance V. World
Nathaniel Hawthorne s, The Scarlet Letter, a dark narrative of wickedness and salvation, centres around the little Puritan community of Boston during the 17th century. Thingss and topographic points in The Scarlet Letter are non ever what they seem to be. There are major differences in the visual aspect of something to the existent significance and significance it carries.
In the center of the town market is a … weather-darkened scaffold. . . ( Hawthorne 234 ) where evildoers are made to confront the reprobating populace. The people standing on the scaffold experience unusual phenomena while on it. Some become braver, some meeker. And whether the people are looking at them or non, they become their true ego. In kernel, everything that is existent and true occurs on the scaffold, and everything that is semblance or lip service occurs everyplace else.
The wood is besides a scene where characters find the truth about themselves. Most colonists to the wood are people who are foreigners from society. They are untainted by the positions of the townsfolk and can see beyond the prevarications and lip service of the townsfolk. The experiences of the people on the scaffold and in the forest lend themselves to a higher issue, visual aspect vs. world. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne shows how people create their ain world with what they see.
The Scaffold is non merely a high position point the in market topographic point but a site where one can see beyond the restraints of town and even clip. For one individual, . . . the scaffold of the pillory was the point of position that revealed to Hester Prynne the full path which she had been steping since her happy babyhood ( 65 ) . The experience of the scaffold has a profound consequence on Hester. Populating on the boundary line between the town and the wood, she learns new freedom while seeing the conformist repression of the town. Hester sees what the townsfolk ignore. She shortly believes that because of her penalty on the scaffold and her ageless reminder of it, the vermilion missive, she sees the wickednesss of the full towns and the lip service of maintaining them secret. Therefore, her clip on the scaffold has made her see the truth of the town and its prevarications.
Reverend Dimmesdale has a similar experience on the scaffold. Troubled by his
wickednesss and his failure to squeal them, the clergyman ascends the pillory in the dead of dark to squeal his wickednesss to the universe. Even though no one sees him, Dimmesdale feels. . . all the apprehension of public exposure [ that ] had so long been the torment of his life. . . nevertheless- he found himself ( 148 ) . The scaffold is where Dimmesdale foremost accepts his wickedness of criminal conversation. His co-sinner, Hester, and their girl, Pearl, walk by, and the three of them stand on the scaffold together. This is the lone safe topographic point, save the outside wood, where the truth is told and accepted. All other times, the semblance is kept up and the secret hid. Pearl comments to her female parent, In the dark dark, he calls us to him. . . on the scaffold yonder. . . But here, in the cheery twenty-four hours, among all the people, he knows us non, nor must we cognize him! ( 215 ) . Therefore, Reverend Dimmesdale is still committed to disregarding the values of truth and traveling along with public perceptual experience.
The wood is besides a location where the truth is non out, but accepted. After Hester s opinion on the scaffold, she and Pearl escape at that place. The trees of the forest, unlike the people in town, listen to Hester and Pearl and welcome them, wickednesss and all. On the border of the forest, Hester and Pearl see the town and know that they do non belong at that place. Their cognition of the truth is unsafe to the townsfolk. Therefore, they choose to populate in their ain universe, free from the perceptual experience of the town. Hester is weary of the town, warning Pearl, We must non ever speak in the market topographic point of what happens to us in the wood ( 225 ) .
Throughout the novel, the scaffold and wood show up in the book and represent many different things. Their primary map, nevertheless, is to supply a driving cuneus between those who recognise world, like Hester and Pearl, and those who merely see what they want to see. These people, blindly guided by public perceptual experience fell themselves in prevarications and ne’er face the truth when it is presented. Even while the deceasing clergyman confesses his wickedness on the scaffold, the townsfolk deny. . . his deceasing words acknowledged, nor even remotely implied. . . the slightest connexion, on his portion, with the guilt for which Hester Prynne [ had committed ] … ( 241 ) . Hawthorne s point is clear: there are those who embrace the truth, and those who avoid it at all costs.