The scarlett letter

Hester is to stand as a warning to others tempted as she was: if she recovers her own salvation in the process, so much the better for her; but, for better or worse, society has ceased to have any concern with her.

But it also results in knowledge — specifically, in knowledge of what it means to be immoral.

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That is but a trifle, when a woman knows the world. The ill-assorted pair make their first home in Amsterdam; but at length, tidings of the Puritan colony in Massachusetts reaching them, they prepare to emigrate thither.

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Being in such close contact with Dimmesdale, Chillingworth begins to suspect that the minister's illness is the result of some unconfessed guilt.

Hester Prynne and Dimmesdale, however, are not so presented as to invite such misplaced tenderness on the reader's part; while Chillingworth, on the other hand, though certainly not a lovable, is very far from being an absurd or contemptible, figure.

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Another friend, critic Edwin Percy Whippleobjected to the novel's "morbid intensity" with dense psychological details, writing that the book "is therefore apt to become, like Hawthorne, too painfully anatomical in his exhibition of them". But the symbol gave the touch whereby Hawthorne's disconnected thoughts on the subject were united and crystallized in organic form.

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Years later Hester returns to New England, where she continues to wear the scarlet letter. Increase Mather , a powerful leader of the early Massachusetts Bay Colony. This sequel is exhaustively analyzed in the romance, and hence the profound and permanent interest of the story. But what renders him chiefly remarkable is the fact that, although he stands as the injured husband, and therefore with the first claim to our sympathy and kindness, he in reality obtains neither, but appears more devoid of attraction than any other character in the tale. The date is historically fixed at about the middle of the seventeenth century. He simply penetrates to the heart of each, and discloses the secrets hidden there, — secrets whose general and permanent vastly outweighs their personal and particular significance. In availing himself of it, Hawthorne touches ground which, perhaps, he would not have ventured on, had he not first safeguarded himself against exaggeration and impiety by making his analysis accord so to speak with the definition of a child's personality. It takes place at a recognizable place and time, the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the 17th century, but many of its details are fanciful rather than accurate. Being in such close contact with Dimmesdale, Chillingworth begins to suspect that the minister's illness is the result of some unconfessed guilt.

Shunned by the community, they live in a small cottage on the outskirts of Boston.

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