The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, set in an old Puritan community, is centered on several conflicts of human nature that result from the adultery and punishment of Hester Prynne.
Utilizing the theme of punishment, the central character, Hester Prynne, was forced to wear an embroidered scarlet letter on "her bosom" for the rest of her life as a sign of her sin of adultery.
Though it is shown throughout The Scarlet Letter that Nathaniel Hawthorne is completely against the Puritan faith, his views, other than those shown in the book, happen to be quite similar as well....
Also, a correlation can be made between the revealing of secrets by the characters in The Scarlet Letter and the revealing of the many eggs by an open egg-carton....
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's, The Scarlet Letter, life centers on a rigid Puritan society which does not allow open self-expression, so the characters have to seek alternate means in order to relieve their personal anguishes and desires.
In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author uses Hester Prynne to symbolize that those who challenge social conformities can benefit society as a whole.
As a result of the adulterous relationship, the authorities of The Puritan society that she is residing in sentences her to wear a Scarlet Letter on her breast that is supposed to stand for adulterer, stand on a scaffold in front of the entire community for public viewing of her Scarlet Letter and Pearl, and serve a prison sentence....
In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is a lonely Puritan woman who commits infidelity with a preacher and has a son from the untruthful union.
And that brings me to Lillian Gish. Gish is always superb and it is refreshing to see her perform a far more subtle and complex role than the melodramatic simplicities offered by D.W. Griffith. I can’t think of another actress of the day who could have delivered Hester Prynne with so much depth and empathy. While it’s true the Hester always ultimate rejects the Puritantic strictures she has the wisdom to appreciate the comfort that this order delivers to other people. While she will not go so far as to be ashamed of her bloomers, she will at least make an effort to shield them from the male gaze. In The Scarlet Letter, the demands of Hester Prynne’s character falls right in line with Gish’s exceptional talents. Gish never delivers a discrete emotion. With her we don’t get happiness, we get happiness tinged with sorrow, or despair with an aura of hope, or… well, you get the picture. In this movie, she is absolutely riveting and brings to life some rather obtuse thematic tropes.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson are two perfect examples of authors who master the art of capturing feelings within the characters.
Religion punishes her with the Scarlet Letter, society ostracizes her as punishment, and individually she was able to move on in life but still returned to her haunting past where she died.
In this case, after reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I took a look back at how this great author created such a great work of literature that we still read some 160 years later.
The Scarlet Letter is, of course, based on the classic American novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. As I was watching the movie, I found myself wracking my memory for the particulars of the novel. It has been some amount of years since I last read the book, and the 11th grade lit class discussions were a little foggy. A quick check of the Wikipedia entry for the confirmed that the film is quite faithful to the novel with only a few dramatic licenses, so I won’t recap the plot here. Suffice it to say that the largest difference is in the relationship of Hester Prynne and the illegitimate Pearl to Dimmesdale. In the novel, Pearl repeatedly asks her father to publicly acknowledge his parentage, while in the movie Hester implores Dimmesdale to keep the secret, for the sake of the congregation’s faith in him. The ultimate outcome remains the same, and this minor revision makes for a far more romantic (in the personal relationship sense) movie narrative.
In The Scarlet Letter, the Puritan society shuns a character named Pearl, yet the author, who lived in the Romantic period, views her with awe and reverence.