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Scarlet Letter

The Tongue of Flame “I consider The Scarlet Letter the most intensely moving and the most beautifully composed work in American fiction,” said Roy R. Male in his article, “The Tongue of Flame: The Scarlet Letter”. This reader of the Scarlet Letter enjoyed the book immensely and he even said, “No other book is so deep, so dual, and so complete.” The critic says that the book is based upon three characters: Hester, Chillingworth, and Dimmesdale. Pearl, who was another character in the book, is just used as a physical manifestation of Hester’s and Dimmesdale’s sin. Male believes The Scarlet Letter can be divided into three sections; each section describing a different theme. The first section (Chapters I to VIII) concerns about Hester's limited ascension. The middle section (Chapters IX to XVI) portrays the burden of guilt and where it should recide. Then the final section (Chapters XVII to XXIV) deals with Dimmesdale’s ascension. Each of the three sections deals with a different dilemma of the main characters. The story is based on Hester Prynne’s life. It has been argued what the purpose of the book is, if it is to show the triumph of Hester to all or if the story is about orthodox satisfaction in the Puritan world. Male says that the widespread of disagreement among critics about what the purpose of the story is due to, “the richness of the book.” The Scarlet letter, like any other great tragedies, deals with the quest of truth. The crucial moment of truth occurs in The Scarlet Letter when the reader who is already emotionally involved sees Dimmesdale’s agony and then sees his purification when he dies. He says, Pearl was a manifestation of the truth. She represented the sin that the whole book is based on and she was the living proof that the sin was committed. Chillingworth was used as a symbol of guilt. He was a leech draining his patient of nerve, will, and physical energy. He invaded the house...

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Scarlet Letter. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:17, September 01, 2014, from