The Scarlet Letter Essay

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Granger, a professor of English at the University of Oklahoma, maintains that The Scarlet Letter is not Hester's story but that of Dimmesdale, whose confession bridges the gap between illusion and reality, or the ideal and actuality, thus making him a true tragic hero.

It is my conviction that, even though Arthur Dimmesdale does not move down center until late in the action, The Scarlet Letter is finally his story and, what is more important, that he is a tragic hero. He alone among the major characters never functions symbolically, though he is the familiar figure of Every-Christian. Viewed thus, Hawthorne's allegorical romance centers on a good man's struggle with and eventual victory over the guilt he experiences after committing lechery. Hawthorne is saying that three courses of action are open to such a sinner: he may keep silent and suffer "eternal alienation from the Good and True...

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This section contains 2,749 words
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Buy The Scarlet Letter Study Guide
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The Scarlet Letter from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.