Historical Fiction

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Historical Fiction

Author:Nathaniel Hawthorne

“What do we talk of marks and brands, whether on the bodice of her gown, or the flesh of her forehead?” cried another female, the ugliest as well as the most pitiless of these self-constituted judges. “This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die. Is there not law for it? Truly there is, both in the Scripture and the statute-book. Then let the magistrates, who have made it of no effect, thank themselves if their own wives and daughters go astray!” (pg 49-50).This quote provokes a decision and explains that many townspeople such as this goodwife, believe in that women like Hester Prynne deserve to die. The Puritans believed in the bible and that all women should be pure. Hester committed a sin of having an affair even though she was married, provoking the townspeople to the need to have her sentenced to death.

Title: .The Scarlet Letter.

Historical Fiction Unit Embedded Task#3: Creative Art/ Technology Piece By Elizabeth Bronnik 8A2

“Thou wilt not reveal his name? Not the less he is mine,” resumed he, with a look of confidence, as if destiny were at one with him, “He bears no letter of infamy wrought into his garment, as thou dost; but I shall read it on his heart. Yet fear not for him! Think not that I shall interfere with Heaven’s own method of retribution, or, to my own loss, betray him to the gripe of human law. Neither do thou imagine that I shall contrive aught against his life, no, nor against his fame; if, as I judge, he be a man of fair repute. Let him live! Let him hide himself in outward honor, if he may! Not the less he shall be mine!” (73)This quote propels the action and explains how Chillingworth is very determined to find the person Hester had an affair with. He promises not to harm this man, who is in fact Dimmesdale. Even though he has no form of punishment like Hester who wears the scarlet letter, Roger will somehow figure out a way to find this man.

“Hush, Pearl, hush! Thou must not talk so!” answered the mother, suppressing a groan. “He sent us all into this world. He sent even me, thy mother. Then, much more, thee! Or, if not, thou strange and elfish child, whence didst thou come?” (95)This quote reveals the aspects of the character and explains how Hester is frustrated with Pearl’s behavior. The child is developing in an unusual pace and behaves differently from the rest of the children. When Pearl said that she had no father, Hester tried to explain that God sent her into the world, or else the devil is inside of her. During this time, a hysteria on the belief of witchcraft broke out. Pearl’s unusual behavior makes her mother ponder whether she gave birth to a witch or if she is really her child.

“At his arrival in the market-place, and some time before she saw him, the stranger had bent his eyes on Hester Prynne. It was carelessly, at first, like a man chiefly accustomed to look inward, and to whom external matters are of little value and import, unless they bear relation to something within his mind. Very soon, however, his look became keen and penetrative. A writhing horror twisted itself across his features, like a snake gliding swiftly over them, and making one little pause, with all its wreathed intervolutions in open sight. His face darkened with some powerful emotion, which, nevertheless, he so instantaneously controlled by an effort of his will, that, save at a single moment, its expression might have passed for calmness. After a brief space, the convulsion grew almost imperceptible, and finally subsided into the depths of his nature. When he found the eyes of Hester Prynne fastened on his own, and saw that she appeared to recognize him, he slowly and calmly raised his finger, made a gesture with it in the air, and laid it on his lips.” (58-59)This quote propels the action and explains that while Hester was experiencing her public humiliation, she happened to gaze upon someone familiar. This propels the action because he makes a gesture to keep quiet when Hester is standing upon the scaffold, making the reader wonder who he was since no one else knows this man. When people would face public humiliation during those days, they weren’t allowed to retaliate to the crowd, making the interaction between the two suspenseful.

“Hester Prynne’s term of confinement was now at an end. Her prison-door was thrown open, and she came forth into the sunshine, which, falling on all alike, seemed, to her sick and morbid heart, as if meant for no other purpose than to reveal the scarlet letter on her breast. Perhaps there was a more real torture in her first unattended footsteps from the threshold of the prison, than even in the procession and spectacle that have been described, where she was made the common infamy, at which all mankind was summoned to point its finger. Then, she was supported by an unnatural tension of the nerves, and by all the combative energy of her character, which enabled her to convert the scene into a kind of lurid triumph. It was, moreover, a separate and insulated event, to occur but once in her lifetime, and to meet which, therefore, reckless of economy, she might call up the vital strength that would have sufficed for many quiet years.” (75)This quote propels the action and explains how Hester felt when she was released from her confinement. She felt free after all that she went through the prison. This relates to the time period because it describes the type of lifestyle people lived in after they committed a crime. Even though she left the morbid facility, the punishment of the sin still followed her because of the scarlet letter she was forced to wear.


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