Nathaniel Hawthorne Message Board
Allison Marienne posts on 1/1/2012
Allison Marienne has just written a review of The Scarlet Letter which you can see here
Tuesday Summerside posts a meandering thought on 2/1/2005 1:08:34 PM
did you read the book, rayetta?
this book is short and is a classic as far as psychological case studies go...what did happen to dimmesdale? he was not publically shamed as hester was, but he carried his shame anyway, all alone, known only to himself, and eventually hester's husband. arthur punished himself mercilessly for years by whipping himself and cutting or mutilating himself. he turns in upon himself, loses his confidence and concentration, becomes depressed and helpless. hester was shamed publically and suffers greatly but she is also able to overcome her own misgivings and the suspicions of her townsfolk by "good behavior" over the years. her guilt had a "point-in-time" quality; once she was shamed publically she was able to begin mending her life; arthur dimmesdale had no time when he could let go of his guilt and shame and it ate away the whole of his life and character. the third scaffold scene is where arthur gets to proclaim his guilt publically, lay down the shame, and get on with his life, which by that time is at death's door. reading the book is the most important part of your assignment. the movie will not really help. a good set of notes could help. if you have grandparents or relatives over 50 they probably had to read the book in school and may be able to help you...best of luck. this is a great book, an american classic.
Rayetta posts on 1/31/2005 3:55:04 PM
What happens to Dimmesdale because of his guilt? Why is the third scaffold scene the most important scene in the novel?
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