The Scarlet Letter
Perception Blanketed by Passion
In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester and Dimmesdale are entangled in self-delusion because they are both caught up in a false interpretation of their respective sins and in an opaque vision of a better life. Hester is confused by her own interpretation of the Scarlet Letter, and Dimmesdale is caught up in Hester's inspiring words for a better life.
Hester is disillusioned by the fact that she thinks her punishment and the burdens of her punishment will evaporate along with the removal of the Scarlet Letter. She feels as if she has done her share of penance. Hester asks Dimmesdale why they should "linger upon [the sin] now when "[she] could undo it all" She believes that they should not dwell on their sin and that the sin can be obliterated by literally ripping off the Letter. Hester also believes that she can "undo it all" by removing the Letter off her chest. The situation stated here shows that her delusion gives way to the misleading on her part. After removing the Letter, Hester feels "exquisite relief," a feeling that she had not "known the weight." Hester feels as if a burden is lifted from her shoulders; this is her freedom. But more importantly, Hester...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 753 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4787 literature essays, 1495 sample college application essays, 189 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in