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Two Faces in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

Assignment id 1011348
Discipline Self Improvement
Assignment type Essay
Words 1851
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The Scarlet Letter: Two Faces "No man, for any substantial period, can wear 1 face to himself and another to the multitude without finally becoming confused as to which might be authentic". In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, this quote applies to the two chief characters of the novel. It applies to Arthur Dimmesdale in a literal manner; he clearly is not the man that he seems to be, along with the guilt that goes along with such marching absorbs his entire life. The quote also applies to Hester Prynne, but in quite a different way since it was not her choice to use the "face" she was forced to wear. The sign of the scarlet letter on her bosom decided how others perceived her and, in turn, how she was expected to perceive herself. At first, Hester did not look at the sin that she committed as blasphemous and horrible since the people of Boston failed, but she was forced to use the "face" of a sinner. Neither Hester or Arthur will live their own lives hiding their true emotions. Arthur literally could not live with it, while Hester changed the way she felt on the interior to correspond to her guilty external image. At the court house, when Arthur Dimmesdale was pleading for Hester to reveal the name of the man with whom she had an affair, it was clear that a portion of him really wanted everyone to know that it had been he who was the guilty person. Be not silent from any mistaken pity and tenderness for him ; for, believe me, Hester, though he were to step down from a high place...better were it so, than to hide a guilty heart through life(47). When this plea is created, it appears to be very ironic. The guy who participated in the sin is attempting to convince his accomplice to perform him . However, this.

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