The Scarlet Letter. Analysis of characters. Hester Prynne. the main characters. Arthur Dimmesdale. Roger Chillingworth. Major characters in The Scarlet Letter. Roger Chillingworth. Arthur Dimmesdale. husband. lover. Hester Prynne. daughter. Pearl .
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the main characters
attractive, appealing, intelligent, capable
Passionate—has a love affair with Dimmesdale
strong and stoic—she endures years of shame and scorn
contemplative—speculates on human nature, social organization, and larger moral questions.
maternal—moderates her tendency to be rash; cares for the poor and brings them food and clothing
a protofeminist mother figure to the women of the community
A--“her passport into regions where other women dared not tread”
She desires to determine her own identity rather than to allow others to determine it for her
she is determined to transform its meaning through her actions and her own self-perception
She is unwilling to erase her past deed and her past decisions
She is not the example of sin that she was once intended to be. Rather, she is an example of redemption(救赎) and self-empowerment.
1.Hester takes all of the blame for their shared sin goads,his conscience, and his resultant mental anguish.
2.The townspeople do not believe Dimmesdale’s protestations of sinfulness. This drives Dimmesdale to further internalize his guilt and self-punishment and leads to still more deterioration in his physical and spiritual condition.
his name --- a man deficient in human warmth
His appearance--- twisted, stooped, deformed shoulders--- his distorted soul
His identity of a “leech”---he feeds on the vitality of others as a way of energizing his own projects.
He is interested in revenge---after Dimmesdale dies, Chillingworth no longer has a victim. Having lost the objects of his revenge, the leech has no choice but to die.
Don’t intend to tell a love story or a story of sin
assumes the universality(普遍性) of guilty
explores the complexities and ambiguities of man’s choices
focuses his attention on the moral, emotional, and psychological effects of the sin on the people
Everybody is potentially(潜在的) a sinner, and great moral courage is indispensable(必不可少的) for the improvement of human nature
The book is an examination of the forces that shape Hester and the transformations those forces effect, a hymn on the moral growth of the woman when sinned against.
confesses her guilty, faces the future optimistically，helps others
hides his guilty first
morally degrads by his pursuit of revenge
undergoes the physical and spiritual torments
is able to construct her life, wins a moral success
1)It is a cultural allegory(文化式寓言) and structurally compact.
are knitted together
in the beginning, the middle, and the end
All the four major characters are at the scene
people offer different views concerning the sign of the letter A on the dead minister's chest. The author doesn't give his views. So, People come up with different interpretations.
3)It is a kind of romance.
Two lovers come together, finally united in death.
4)Hawthorne's use of the supernatural.
The appearance of the symbol A in the sky is : in twilight atmosphere, all things, natural or otherwise, may become probable.
5) His use of symbols
the central symbol
the scarlet letter “A”
a token of shame
“A” appears in the sky