Isolation: father until the end of the book.
Isolation: An Internal Struggle In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, the main characters face the theme of isolation. Every single one of them deals with it internally, however, two of them must face it externally as well. To feel isolated is like standing in a crowded room, constantly filling with familiar faces but yet the feeling of emptiness or aloneness still lingers. It’s a battle with humanity as well as your own mind; in a particular case in The Scarlet Letter it drove a man crazy. Being driven crazy was a problem in Roger Chillingworth’s life.He returned from Europe and found the news of his wife’s betrayal of committing adultery.
Chillingworth began a man hunt, he made it his absolute mission to hunt down the other man in Hester’s life and expose him for the rat he was. Roger then begins to live a lie, claiming to be someone he isn’t, to gain respect from the people and discover who the rat was. This desire to find the man dwelt in his mind and tore his head up. His only goal in life was too seek revenge upon the man whom slept with his wife. This journey twisted his mind and changed everything about him.He was isolated from the man he used to be, a caring older gentleman. He was isolated mentally and emotionally from all the other townspeople.
He would not let them in and know his true identity. He was isolated from a woman he was married to, someone he was joined to by a piece of paper, not by heart. The man whom was joined to Hester by heart suffered from isolation as well. Arthur Dimmesdale was the other man in Hester’s life and fathered her baby girl, Pearl. Even though Hester was a target to the townspeople and lived with the embarrassment every day, Arthur did not.
None of the townspeople knew that Arthur was the baby’s father until the end of the book. This aspect of guilt and shame grows over time in Arthur’s mind and drives him insane. It causes him to do traumatic things to himself just as on page 217 the text reads, “Dimmesdale thus communed with himself, and struck his forehead with his hand. ” This is clear that Arthur was respected by all the townspeople because he spoke the word of the God but Arthur knows that he was not pure and did commit a horrible sin. Sense he was not strong enough to come clean to the townspeople he allowed this guilt to run his life.Over time, his internal conflict allowed him to become emotionally separated from all the other townspeople.
Emotionally separated and physically separated was endured by Hester Prynne. She was a prime person who lived with isolation everyday of her life. Starting with the scarlet letter that had to be worn on all of her clothes, the “A” represented sin and out casted her from all of the other young women in the town. The town disowned her and for the longest time would have nothing to do with her because of her crime.Over time, the town grew semi fond of her because she was an amazing seamstress, however they would not allow her to embroider any wedding vales. This is because she committed adultery, a crime sinning against marriage. Also, she was banned from living inside of the town, they gave her an abandoned cottage on the outskirts of town to live and raise her daughter Pearl.
Pearl, was the daughter of Hester Prynne and another reason why Hester was isolated. Even though Pearl was the closest person to Hester, Hester became isolated from Pearl because she could not control her or comprehend the child.Also, Pearl was one of the biggest consequences from her actions.
Pearl was a baby born out of sin and she was also isolated from the townspeople. She lived on the outskirts of the town with her mother and away from the people. The people looked down on Pearl and considered her to be the “Devils Child”. When she was in town, the other children discriminated her and refused to play with her. The other kids would mock her and her mother and throw stones at her. Pearl was also isolated from her father.She discovered who it was one night when her, her mom and Arthur held hands on the scaffold.
However, she could not understand why Arthur would not acknowledge them in public. The Scarlet Letter, was a novel of passion and desire. At one point, everyone lives were normal and proceeding the usual way. However, when Hester and Arthur committed adultery everyone’s lives changed. Every person involved, lived a life of isolation, whether it was internal or external isolation.
Some suffered it worse than others, but they all endured it and lived through it till the very end.