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The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne is considered to be one of the greatest examples of trueAmerican literature Its excellency of topic characterization and description has made it a permanent partof our history Set in Salem Massachusetts in the 1600s it describes the life of Hester Prynne a Puritanwoman whose existence is marred by sin The real genius of the book is found in its description Hawthornemakes allusion symbolism and romanticism work toward one effect making the reader feel as if she wasthere watching it all happen living through Hesters struggleThe story opens as a woman Hester Prynne is leaving a jail and heading toward a large scaffold in themiddle of Salem town where she along with her newborn child Pearl is put on display as an example to allthe people to discourage them from committing such a sin as adultery The sentence is given by a numberof priests who feel compassion for her because her husband had been thought dead for so many yearsShe is ordered to wear a scarlet letter A for adultery on her breast for the duration of her stay in SalemShe is perversely unwilling to leave the place of her shame and outcast when she could easily have sailedaway to England or to anywhere else on earth and been rid of her mark of Cain At the scaffold she seesher husband just arrived from Indian imprisonment standing in the crowd He naturally is enraged by newsof her unfaithfulness to him and to his memory but carries it too far when he renames himself RogerChillingworth and begins slowly to dismantle the sanity of her lover the Reverend Mr Arthur DimmesdaleDisguised as an apothecary Chillingworth dwells with Dimmesdale supposedly to maintain his health butreally to sap his strength and to serve as a reminder of the young reverends sin During the seven-yearduration of the book Hester becomes steadily stronger because of her mark while Dimmesdale forced tobear his brand internally becomes
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