Reading: Sustainability in the Face of Adversity – In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter

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Sustainability in the Face of Adversity – In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter

Author:

M.K. Jayasinghe

SLIIT, Malabe, LK
About M.K.
English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU), School of Natural Science, Faculty of Humanities and Sciences
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Abstract

The extent to which the four main characters of The Scarlet Letter are capable of enduring hardships in the face of the rigid structure of the Puritan society is studied in this research paper. Endurance being a far-fetched meaning of sustainability; if said differently, this paper is a study of their sustainability. These characters are namely, Hester Prynne, her legal husband Roger Chillingworth, the pastor Arthur Dimmesdale, all of them caught up in a love triangle and Pearl, Hester Prynne’s daughter, born out of wedlock. Using a qualitative research approach, a narrative analysis is conducted where initially the reader is given an insight into the story line of The Scarlet Letter. Ensuing, is a brief description of the Puritan period and its society, the significance of symbolism in the novel, and an examination of the transformation of the four characters throughout the duration of the novel. Hester Prynne, the bearer of the scarlet letter, faces extremely challenging times due to her behavior. A detailed observation of how she gradually and positively integrates into this environment of an unforgiving Bostonian Puritanical society through her fortitude to face up to it, is done in this paper. Finally, the power of endurance of the characters being evaluated, Hester Prynne turns out to be the victor. Thereby, proving that despite great adversity, a female is yet able to endure hardships and show her tenacity in male dominated societies.

How to Cite: Jayasinghe, M.K., 2020. Sustainability in the Face of Adversity – In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. SLIIT Journal of Humanities and Sciences, 1(1), pp.36–48. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sjhs.v1i1.28
Published on 01 Dec 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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