Monday, March 16, 2020

Ambiguity in The Scarlet Letter essays

Ambiguity in The Scarlet Letter essays The element of ambiguity, in which the meaning of something is unclear, allows Nathaniel Hawthorne to mingle the marvelous in his 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter. Hawthornes continual use of this element gives the book a certain air of mystery; therefore permitting the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. One is constantly weighing the natural versus the marvelous reason for an event. The Scarlet Letter illustrates ambiguity throughout the entire novel. The first occurrence of ambiguity is concerning the rosebush, outside of the prison where Hester was kept. No one truly knew the origin of the rosebush. Hawthorne leaves it up to the reader to decide whether the rosebush had survived out of the stern wilderness or whether it had sprung up under the footsteps of the sainted Ann Hutchinson. There is also an additional instance of ambiguity with the rosebush. But, this time it also concerns Pearl. When passing the rosebush at the Governors home, Pearl asks her mother for a rose. Later, when she is being questioned where she came from, Pearl replies, that she had been plucked by her mother off the bush of wild roses that grew by the prison door. The natural reason for this is that Pearl wanted a rose from the Governors bush and Hester said no. The marvelous reason is that the origins of both Pearl and the rosebush are unknown and ambiguous. This occurs as well with the creek later in the novel. While Hester meets with her Dimmsdale, Pearl goes off to play. She encounters the creek, which is ambiguous as herself. Both Pearl and the brook have unknown origins. Pearl resembled the brook, in as much as her current life gushed from a wellspring as mysterious. Another instance of ambiguity is why Hester remains in Boston. She could have very easily left and not been forced to wear the scarlet letter and endure years of humiliation. Yet, Hester stayed in ...

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