How does Hawthorne present the complexity of identity in the Scarlet Letter?
I'm trying to write an oral presentation explaining how Hawthorne presents the complexity of identity in the Scarlet Letter and it requires an analysis of the techniques that communicate the ideas in relation to the question.
Also, can you give me examples of other texts that communicate the ideas i.e. poems, feature articles
I don't have a hard copy of the book, but here are some ideas that I would run with. Hopefully, this will be enough to get you started:
- Internal vs. External identity. By this I mean who these characters really are vs. how they display themselves to others. Dimmsdale is supposed to be someone who displays spiritual leadership and fortitude in the community, but who is he really?
- Spiritual Identity vs. Natural Identity. The Puritans were a community that wanted people to focus on becoming enlightened and disciplined Christians rather than people who gave into temptation (i.e., their desires, particularly those of a sexual nature).
- Individual vs. Group. How does the Puritan community manipulate the identity of individuals within the group? How is it encouraged and/or reinforced? What are the consequences?
Hope this helps, good luck.