The Scarlet Letter Questions and Answers
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter book cover
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Please give an example of a thesis statement for an essay about The Scarlet Letter.

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In the final chapter, the narrator outlines several themes; you could choose one and then analyze the ways in which the book supports that theme. For example, he says that one moral we ought to learn from Dimmesdale's experience is to "Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!" In other words, when we do not show our true, sinful selves to the world, our guilt can eat away at us and make us absolutely miserable. Compare Hester to Dimmesdale: she is, by no means, overjoyed with her experience of being publicly shamed, but at least she does not bear the overwhelming pain of a secret guilt. She is a sinner and she is known as one. You could argue, then, that The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, shows that it is always better to be truthful, even if one is judged negatively by society for it, as seen through the experiences of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale.

Another potential theme conveyed by the text and...

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