Wednesday, October 29, 2008



By Group 5

Class A


To begin with, we would like to express our gratitude to God The Almighty, The Most Merciful, The Most Graceful, for all the gift and blessing given for us so that we can finish this with no obstacles.

Actually, The Scarlet Letter is so interesting novel to read. We are really enjoy it, more than any other aspects from this novel is about Nathaniel Hawthorne's way to picture the 17th century of Puritan's life in Boston. But then, we don't neglect that this novel is difficult enough to be understood since the language (the diction in this case) is so hard. Almost all the diction aren't in common English which we usually use but in old English one, for example: the using of thou for you, thy for yours etc.

Anyway, reading and analyzing this novel is quite fun and it is impossible for us to finish this paper without any other's help. So, in this chance, we would like to thanks to you all, who have helped us in composing this, for all the suggestion and for everything, thanks guys for being the helping hands, you all are such an angel. Our biggest thanks is dedicated especially for our honorable and beloved Lecturer, Mr. Rosyid Dodiyanto, for all the guidance and so many kinds of innumerable help given for, us.

Finally, we do hope that you'll give us advices, suggestions or criticism for the better result since we do realize that we might have so many mistakes in this imperfect paper.

A. Summary

In the beginning of the story, Hester Prynne, a young women, with her three months old baby in her arms, were led from the town prison through market place to the scaffold where she was publicly shamed. She wore scarlet letter A on the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourished of gold thread. The scarlet letter A represented the act of adultery that she committed which led to the birth of her baby, Pearl. The scarlet letter was a badge of shame, a symbol of sin that had to be worn all the times as a punishment for her adultery. At the scaffold, she was forced by the magistrates ­Governor Bellingham, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and Reverend John Wilson - to reveal the father of Pearl. But, Hester insisted not to reveal the name of her lover.

At that time, she met her husband, Roger Prynne who just arrived in Boston after his long dwelt in Amsterdam. Roger swore that he would find the person who committed adultery with her and took revenge with him. But, there were no one in Boston who knew that Roger was Hester's husband since Roger Prynne changed his name into Roger Chillingworth. He also forced Hester to keep his identity as a secret to make his revenge easier. Then, Roger earned a reputation as a Physician or Doctor and stayed in the same house with Arthur Dimmesdale.

Seven years passed, Roger became Arthur's doctor since Arthur's health was getting worse. Arthur suffered from mysterious heart trouble that seemingly caused by psychological distress and someday, Roger accidentally found that the person whom he looked for was Arthur Dimmesdale when he discovered an A imprinted in Arthur's chest! A very pious clergymen that seemed impossible to do a such kind of adultery with Roger's wife. But then, ya ... Arthur was the person!

To protect her lover from any kinds of Roger's bad treatment, Hester arranged an encounter with Arthur in the forest. Then, she revealed that Roger was her husband to Arthur.

Surprisingly knew that Roger was Hester's husband, Arthur then agreed to go away from Boston to Europe by ship 4 days later with Hester and Pearl, their daughter, and started a new life as a family.

But, the day before the ship sailed was a public holiday, when Arthur delivered his sermon in front of the townspeople. After finishing his sermon, Arthur walked to the scaffold and stood there beside Hester and Pearl. At that time, he revealed who he was and showed the letter A that burned in his chest. He told that he was a sinner, like Hester, and he was the real father of Pearl. He also confessed that he should stand there seven years earlier with Hester, when she was firstly publicly shamed. He fell dead just after Pearl kissed him.

Frustrated in his revenge, Roger died a year later. Pearl inherited all Roger's wealth since Roger wanted so even though she wasn't his daughter. After it, Hester and Pearl left Boston. Hester came back several years later, still wearing the scarlet letter in her bosom until she dead and buried in the site of King's Chapel. But, Pearl never returned to Boston, she stayed in Europe, got married and lived happily with her family.

B. Analysis

1. Theme : The theme of this novel is about Sin, Guilt (whether it is public guilt or private guilt) and punishment.

Committing adultery in Puritans was called as sin that could make the execution of both the sinners happened. But then, the parameter of the sin itself is difficult enough to explain. Was it a sin -that had to lead the sinners to be executed - if the adultery really had no impact upon the lives of society? And which was exactly a sin, marrying a person with no love or loving someone and committing adultery when her husband was out nowhere? Well, it is difficult we thought to make a justification about sin.

In this novel, Hawthorne illustrated the differences between shaming the sinner in public and allowing the sinner to suffer the consequences of the adultery privately. We thought that private guilt which led to emotional destruction and psychological distress were more than enough punishment for the adultery, just like what Arthur's got.

For Hester Prynne, the scarlet letter and Pearl -the product of adultery ­were a symbol and reminder for her that daily taught her to make her Pearl to be the wiser and better than her.

For Arthur Dimmesdale, his private guilt made him more sympathy and understood another sinners. It also made him more powerful to deliver his sermon since it came from the deepest sinful and regretful heart.

2. Character

a. Major character

1. Hester Prynne

She is the protagonist of the novel with a round character. She was young, tall, with a figure of perfect elegance. She had dark hair and deep black eyes. She committed adultery with Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale that finally led to Pearl's birth. But, she never revealed the name of Pearl's father to the society. That's why she was publicly shamed by wearing scarlet letter on her bosom all the times. She was firm actually since she insisted to identify the name of her lover.

2. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale

He was a young clergyman who had come from one of the great English Universities. He had white and impending brow, large brown and melancholy eyes. He was the real father of Pearl. When Hester was publicly shamed, he suffered with his private guilt since none knew that he was also a sinner. He was his own deceiver till he finally revealed the truth after seven years passed, before he died.

3. Roger Chillingworth

He is the antagonist in this novel. A white man, small but tall, with his shoulder rose higher than the other. He was learned English man who long dwelt in Amsterdam. He arrived in Boston at the day when Hester, his wife, was publicly shamed by committing adultery. He then became a physician and stayed in the same house with Arthur. He swore to take revenge to the person who committed adultery with his wife. Knowing that the person he looked for was Arthur, he tortured him by let Arthur suffered with his private guilt.

4. Pearl

She is Hester's daughter. She was beautiful, naughty and wild.

Hester named her Pearl as being of great price that purchased with all she had and as Hester's only treasure. As a product of sin, Pearl was to remind her mother at every moment of Hester's fall. When Arthur revealed his identity as Pearl's father, she kissed him before her father died. She then left Boston with her mother and she never returned to Boston anymore, although her mother came back and spent the rest of her life in Boston, Pearl stayed in Europe, got married and lived happily ever after.

b. Minor character

1. Townspeople: they always mocked Hester since Hester was publicly shamed by wearing scarlet letter as a symbol of adultery.

2. Governor Bellingham: he was Governor of Massachusetts in 1641, 1654 and from 1665 to 1672. he was one of the magistrates that believed whether Hester should not be allowed to stay with her daughter since he was afraid that Hester who was a sinner would bring bad influence to her baby, so he wanted to take Pearl and gave her a good religious education but Hester refused it.

3. John Wilson: he was Puritan clergyman who emigrated to Massachusetts in 1630. he was the eldest clergyman of Boston and a great scholar. He was a friend of Arthur Dimmesdale and one of the magistrates who forced Hester to identify the name of her lover.

4. Master Bracket : he was a good man, the jailer who always interacted with Hester and her baby when they stayed in the town prison.

5. Mistress Hibbins : she was the sister of Governor Bellingham. She usually and routinely sneaked into the forest during the night to conduct business in the service of 'The Black Man'. She almost wore a gown of rich velvet all the times. But finally, she was hanged because she was accused as a witch.

6. BlackMan :black Man is a nick name for an evil who lived in the forest. The common superstition of that period said that Black Man haunted the forest, carried a book with him -a big heavy book with iron claps - . Black Man offered his book and an iron pen to everyone who met him in the forest and they were to write their names with their own blood.

3. Setting

a. Time

This novel set in 17th century in Boston, Massachusetts, in a Puritan settlement.

1. In the summer morning: when Hester was publicly shamed in the scaffold, wearing the scarlet letter A in her bosom as a symbol of adultery.

2. Obscure night of early May: when Arthur Dimmesdale desperately stood in the scaffold and suffered with his private guilt.

3. One day in April: when Hester met Arthur in the forest to reveal that Roger was her husband and to arrange a plan to go away from Boston to Europe.

4. The New England Holiday: when Arthur delivered an Election Sermon and finally told the truth to the society before he fell died.

b. Place

1. Town Prison house, in the vicinity of cornhill : where Hester and her three months old baby were imprisoned.

2. The scaffold, at the western of the market place, near Boston's earliest church: where Hester was publicly shamed as a punishment of her adultery and where Arthur revealed the truth that he was a sinner and fell died seven years after Hester firstly publicly shamed.

3. Market place at the Puritan settlement: where the townspeople mocked Hester as a punishment of her adultery.

4. The mansion of Governor Bellingham: where the magistrates wanted to take Pearl away from her mother and forced Hester to identify the name of her lover.

5. Forest: where Hester met Arthur secretly to reveal that Roger was her husband. In this place, Mistress Hibbins also usually did some business toward Black Man.

6. The meeting house: when Arthur delivered his election sermon in the public holiday.

7. Graveyard in King's Chapel site: where Hester was buried when she died some years later.

8. Europe: where Pearl got married and lived with her family.

c. Condition

1. Shameful: when Hester was publicly shamed and forced to wear scarlet letter all the times.

2. Suffered: when Arthur felt guilty since society claimed him as a pious man but, he was actually not as pious as they thought.

3. Revengeful: when Roger swore that he would find the person who committed adultery with his Vtrife and take revenge with him.

4. Relieved: when Arthur finally told the truth, he then felt so free because he no longer kept his secret and his sin.

5. Sad: when Hester was left by Arthur since he fell died after he revealed the truth.

4. Point of View

Use omniscient point of view that is 3rd person point of view since narrator knew all and the story is based on her thought.

5. Plot

1. Exposition : Hester was led to be publicly shamed with her baby in her arms and a scarlet letter in her bosom.

2. Raising action: knowing that his wife committed adultery and had a baby as a result of her adultery made Roger Chillingworth swore to find that man and take revenge toward him. He then became a physician and stayed in the same house with Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale.

3. Climax : seven years passed, Roger finally found that Arthur was the person whom he looked for since he accidentally saw a letter A imprinted in Arthur's chest. Arthur's health was getting worse because of his private guilt and his suffering since he kept his sins as secret. To protect Arthur from Roger's bad treatment, Hester arranged an encounter with Arthur in the forest and told him that Roger was her husband. They then arranged to leave Boston to Europe four days later to start a new life as a family.

4. Falling action : on the public holiday, when Arthur should have sailed with Hester and Pearl, he delivered an election sermon. After that, he revealed the truth whether he was a sinner, just like Hester. And he told that his confession should be revealed since seven years earlier. He also showed an A that imprinted in his chest to the society before he fell died.

5. Catastrophe : Roger frustrated with his revenge and he died a year later and gave his inheritance to Pearl, even though she wasn't his daughter. Hester and Pearl left Boston and some years later, Hester returned to Boston, still wearing scarlet letter, lived there until she died and was buried in the site of King's Chapel. Pearl her self, stayed in Europe, got married and never returned to Boston anymore.

6. Moral message

1. A lie is never good, even though death threaten on the other side.

2. Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred.

3. Don't ever do any evil's act because whoever does it should look well to him self or he may find the bargain to go hard against him, involving, if not his soul, yet many of its better attributes: its study force, its courage and constancy, its truth, its self reliance and all that gives the emphasis to mainly character.

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