Writing Process: Research Teacher Conference
Literary Analysis of The Scarlet Letter
The reason of a literary analysis essay is to cautiously examine and evaluate a work of writing or a part of a work of literature. Likewise with any examination, this obliges you to separate the subject into its component parts. Examining the different elements of a piece of literature is not an end in itself but rather a process to help you better appreciate and understand the work of literature as a whole. Analysing a story may incorporate identifying a specific theme and indicating how the author recommends that theme through the perspective from which the story is told; or you may likewise clarify how the main character\'s attitude toward women is uncovered through his dialogue/orations. Great literary analysis is a product of pattern and symbol recognition. Story telling throughout mankind\'s recorded history has not changed significantly. There are certain "rules" or patterns that stories generally follow; abandoned boys make for good heroes, seasons always mean something, and never trust what a snake tells you. There are thousands of recognizable patterns in literature and the more you read, the more you\'ll notice them. As I’m reading, I look for literary elements such as diction, imagery, figurative language, and character development and then ask myself "why?" Why did the author do this? If the author is going to take the time to write a novel, he isn\'t going to leave a detail such as setting to random chance. Good readers can not only identify literary elements in a story, but also explain why the author is using them. Knowing what details are important and which can be glossed over will become more evident as I practice.















Three Literacy Criticisms
Third person view
• The passage is written in the third person omniscient point of view. This means that the reader has access to more details than if it had been written solely from Hester\'s point of view and that the reader can have more assurance that the details presented are accurate. However, in this case the narrator isn\'t completely objective, and even inserts his own evaluations and judgements at times as seen in his use of loaded language. Hester is clearly being portrayed in a sympathetic light by the narrator here.
Motif: - Night Versus Day
By emphasizing the alternation between sunlight and darkness, the novel organizes the plot’s events into two categories: those which are socially acceptable, and those which must take place covertly. Daylight exposes an individual’s activities and makes him or her vulnerable to punishment. Night, on the other hand, conceals and enables activities that would not be possible or tolerated during the day—for instance, Dimmesdale’s encounter with Hester and Pearl on the scaffold. These notions of visibility versus concealment are linked to two of the book’s larger themes—the themes of inner versus socially assigned identity and of outer appearances versus internal states. Night is the time when inner natures can manifest themselves. During the day, interiority is once again hidden from public view, and secrets remain secrets.
Theme
The main theme in The Scarlet Letter, as in most of Hawthorne’s work, is that of sin and its effects both on the individual and on society. It is frequently noted that Hawthorne’s preoccupation with sin springs from the Puritan-rooted culture in which he lived and from his knowledge of two of his own ancestors who presided over bloody persecutions during the Salem witchcraft trials. It is difficult for readers from later times to comprehend the grave importance that seventeenth century New Englanders placed on transgression of the moral code. As Yvor Winters has pointed out, the Puritans, believing in predestination, viewed the commission of any sin as evidence of the sinner’s corruption and preordained damnation. The harsh determinism and moralism of those early years softened somewhat by Hawthorne’s day, and during the twelve years he spent in contemplation and semi-isolation, he worked out his own notions about human will and human nature. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne proves to be closer to Paul Tillich than to Cotton Mather or Jonathan Edwards. Like Tillich, Hawthorne saw sin not as an act but as a state—what existentialists refer to as alienation and what Tillich describes as a threefold separation from God, other humans, and self. Such alienation needs no