In-Class English Essay- Scarlet Letter

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Essay 1: Discuss the inevitability of this ending. Consider the significance of Hester and Dimmesdale’s sin and the effect it has on both of them. Consider also the use of foreshadowing and how it may have prepared you for Dimmesdale’s death.
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Intro: -Opening: “If thou feelest it to be for thy soul’s peace and that thy earthly punishment will thereby be made more effectual to salvation” (pg.56) -Committed sin of adultery -Hester won’t reveal name of father -Dimmesdale has lots of guilt Thesis: The ending in the ultimately inevitable because Dimmesdale seemed so abused and upset throughout the book it seemed obvious his guilt was going to kill him. Paragraph 2: How have the sin affected Hester -Had to raise Pearl on her own -was mocked by townspeople -Chillingworth -By Dimmesdale not being honest he not only hurt himself but also Hester because she had to go at everything on her own Paragraph 3: How sins affect Dimmesdale -Seemed more affected then Hester -Had to live with guilt while town thought he was saintly -Let himself get abused by Chillingworth+himself -Wanted to be with Hester and Pearl but couldn’t -Even though Dimmesdale could’ve stayed untouched in this problem he was so guilty about it that hurt himself and ultimately died because of it Paragraph 4: Evidence of Foreshadowing -Many ways foreshadowing is used but don’t pick up on it until the end -Sermons:”d be the stern and sad truth spoken, that the breach which guilt has once made into the human soul is never, in this mortal state, repaired. It may be watched and guarded; so that the enemy shall not force his way again into the citadel, and might even, in his subsequent assaults, select some other avenue, in preference to that where he had formerly succeeded. But there is still the ruined wall, and, near it, the stealthy tread of the foe that would win over again his unforgotten triumph.” (pg. 158) – “He had always been driven hither by the impulse of that remorse which dogged him everywhere” (pg. 118) -‘Judgement Day’ -The foreshadowing of Dimmesdale’s death is very evident throughout the novel Conclusion: – Dimmesdales sins affect everyone and himself in the novel -Throughout the story Dimmedales seems to hint/know he’s going to die and low key mentions it in his sermons -Death is inevitable
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Essay 2: Discuss the relevance of this statement to the meaning of the book. Support your argument with references to 3 major characters
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Intro: – The quote “Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred” talks about how people should tell the truth and be themselves – Unlike Dimmesdale who hides his sins from people, Pearl, Hester and the townspeople never try to hide/ be someone they aren’t – Pearl, Hester and the townspeople are never anyone but themselves Paragraph 2: Pearl – Pearl is the most true to herself out of anyone in the whole story – She questions things and notices a lot – ‘What a strange, sad man is he!’ said the child, as if speaking partly to herself. ‘In the dark night-time he calls us to him, and holds thy hand and mine, as when we stood with him on the scaffold yonder. And in the deep forest, where only the old trees can hear, and the strip of sky see it, he talks with thee, sitting on a heap of moss! And he kisses my forehead, too, so that the little brook would hardly wash it off! But here, in the sunny day, and among all the people, he knows us not; nor must we know him! A strange, sad man is he, with his hand always over his heart!” (pg. 179) – Even though she sometimes seems to be a ‘demon child’ she can also sometimes be the most adult in certain situations – She is very true to herself and always says it like it is Paragraph 2: Hester – Hester sometimes has a hard time being herself because of all the things in her life, but ultimately takes responsibility for all her actions. – May be a reason Pearl is so individual because her mother always tells the real truth – Has a successful career and makes her own money – Is forced to wear a red ‘A’ and still goes into public a lot – Though she doesn’t always have a choice if she wants to do things she always does with grace and strength Paragraph 4: The Townspeople – Although judgmental they always say exactly what they’re thinking – Have strong beliefs that they stick to tightly – “In the early severity of the Puritan character, an inference of this kind could not so indubitably be drawn” (pg. 43) – They all have strong personalities and opinions Conclusion: -By “Be[ing] true!” the characters have some invidiuality in a town where everyone is the same – By being themselves they are able to have some individuality
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Essay 3: Discuss the applicability of this statement to Hester, Dimmesdale and Chillingworth. Begin with the person which the statement is least applicable.
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Intro: -Essay quote -This quote is especially true for Hester, Dimmesdale and Chillingworth. – Each one gets caught between 2 different lives -Hester=normal life/ being an adulterer -Dimmesdale= saintly preacher/ living with guilt of knowing he’s the father of Pearl -Chillingworth= nice physican/ pure evil -The quote is applicable to all 3 of these characters in many ways Paragraph 1: Hester – In the beginning she is forced to wearing an ‘A’ but she still keeps her grace. -To get back on the peoples good side she conforms – She has to be ostrasized like this while still being a mother -Quote is mostly applicable Paragraph 2: Chillingworth – Most people seem him as Dimmesdales kindly physican but really he is abusing him behind closed doors – “In the minister’s regard, he was no longer a trusted friend, but his bitterest enemy” (pg. 175) – In the end before he dies everyone see’s the pure evil that is inside of him – The quote is applicable to him because for the whole book he is known as Roger Chillingworth which isn’t even his real name, also he is Hester’s estranged husband -physican but also abuser Paragraph 3: Dimmesdale – “lse, I should long ago have thrown off these garments of mock holiness, and have shown myself to mankind as they will see me at the judgment-seat. Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly upon your bosom! Mine burns in secret! Thou little knowest what a relief it is, after the torment of a seven years’ cheat, to look into an eye that recognizes me for what I am!” (pg. 151) – Most think of him as “so holy in spirit” (pg. 193) he is actually very tormented with his sins – Does self abuse and allows it to come to him by Chillingworth – He is not able to ep up the act and in the end, before he dies, he confesses to it all Conclusion: – Not everyone is who they seem to be – “Better to fast and pray upon it; and still better, it may be, to leave the mystery as we find it, unless Providence reveal it of its own accord.” (pg. 92) – Noone is perfect
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Essay 4: What is Hawthorne’s overall message about setting and how is this illustrated through these three settings?
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Intro: -It may not seem like it but setting is a big part of the story – Scaffold, Forest, Marketplace are the 3 settings most mentioned and are very important to the story – Every time something significant happens the location is mentioned. Paragraph 2: Scaffold – It’s where Hester and Pearl are first put when taken out of prison – Everyone is able to see/ judge you there – It’s where Chillingworth and Dimmesdale die after professing sins Paragraph 3: The Marketplace – The in between the forest and scaffold – Where day-to-day existence happens – Chillingworth spies on Dimmesdale and Hester Paragraph 4: Forest – Free area – Pearl is her most self there Conclusion: -Location, location, location – Almost every significant event occurs in one of these 3 scenes

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