Reading The Scarlet Letter As An AllegoryIf you had to read The Scarlet Letter as an allegory, how would you describe its moral? How would you describe the roles played by Hester, Pearl,...

Reading The Scarlet Letter As An Allegory

If you had to read The Scarlet Letter as an allegory, how would you describe its moral? How would you describe the roles played by Hester, Pearl, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth?

Asked on by quentin1

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shake99's profile pic

shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

To me, the theme of The Scarlett Letter is more like "The rules and expectations of society often prevent a person from truly being themselves and pursuing their own happiness." Of course, it depends on how people interpet those rules and expectations and how they push them on others. Sometimes societies rules and expectations are used to exploit and manipulate others for selfish gain. This certainly happened in The Scarlett Letter.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think you could argue that Hester's story shoud be seen as a cautionary tale about the potential consequences of not conforming to society's expectations.  She didn't and she paid the price.

quentin1's profile pic

quentin1 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted on

Hi litteacher8, thanks for the response. On the other side of the equation, do you think that Dimmesdale made the mistake of conforming too much to society's expectations, which almost entirely destroyed whatever joy and warmth he ever may have had in his heart?

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