英文题目！On the Aspects of Loneliness in The
班 级: 08级
2011年 6月1 日
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Abstract (in Chinese) Abstract (in English)
ChapterI Introduction 1
ChapterII The A Brief Information about Hawthorne and The Scarlet Letter 1 2.1 A Brief Introductin about Hawthorne 1 2.2 A Brief Contents about The Scarlet Letter 2
ChapterIII Causes the Aspects of Loneliness in The Scarlet Letter 3
3.1 Hawthorne‟s Loneliness in His Personal Life 3 3.2 Social and Cultural Backdrops of the novel 3 ChapterIV Four characters’ Loneliness in The Scarlet Letter 4
4.1 Hester Prynne‟s Lonely Pursuer for Love 4
4.2 Chillingworth‟s Lonely Revenge-Seeker 5
4.3 Dimmesdale‟s Lonely Beggar for God‟s Grace 6 4.4 Pearl‟s Lonely Asking for Recognition 8
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ChapterVSymbolicRepresentations of Loneliness 8 ChapterVI Conclusion 11
Reference 12 Acknowledgements 13
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“The Scarlet Letter”is the first full-length novel of Nathanial
Hawthorne.Nathanial Hawthorne who is an American romantic novelist and psychologist novelist has a tremendous influence in 19 century .At the same time ,“The Scarlet Letter”is regarded as the best works of Nathanial Hawthorne ,
and it is one of the world classical literature . In this novel , the writer dose not intend to tell a love story , but focuses his attention on the moral conception , the consciousness of original sin ,emotion , the relation of individual and society,and the conflict between the head and the heart.This passage deeply analysis the loneliness of four leading character in a novel , excavate the aspects of loneliness in “The Scarlet Letter”.
Key Words！The Scarlet Letter; loneliness; symbol
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The Scarlet Letter was declared a classic almost immediately after its publication in 1850, and it has stayed in print and in favor ever since, it has been hailed both as the first symbolic novel and as the first psychological novel. But what really secures the place of The Scarlet Letter in the literary history is its treatment of human nature, sin, guilt, and pride-all timeless, universal themes-from a uniquely American point of view. There are many different comments and criticism and on the writer‟s family background, the novel multiple themes and writing styles, the novel‟s social and historical backdrops together with the novel‟s significance in society and literature. This article has done a thorough research into the aspects of loneliness in the novel. The thesis is to elaborate four characters‟ loneliness: Hester, Chillingworth, Dimmesdale and little Pearl. They are having different loneliness. Hester is a lonely pursuer for love; Chilingworth is a lonely revenge-seeker; Dimmesdale is a lonely beggar for god‟s grace; Pearl is a lonely child asking for recognition. There are many symbolic representations in The Scarlet Letter. Such as names, appearances of the characters, some special events and actions, these can symbolize loneliness.
ChapterII A Brief Information about Hawthorne and The Scarlet Letter
2.1 A Brief Introduction about Hawthorne
Hawthorne was born on the fourth of July, 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. Some of his ancestors were big shots in seventeenth-century New England, which was under the control of Puritanism. One of them was a colonial magistrate; notorious for his participation in the persecution of Quakers, and another was a judge at the Salem Witchcraft Trail in 1692. Gradually, the family fortune declined. Hawthorne‟s father was a sea captain, who died in an accident and left his mother and him behind to struggle to live for themselves. Nathaniel Hawthorne is an extremely renowned American writer of fiction. Herman Melville even hails him as the “American
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Shakespeare”. He is the first American writer to define his works as romance; his
romantic writing is a landmark of the romantic period in American literature. Besides, Hawthorne is one of the forefathers of symbols.
Hawthorne‟s works mainly include four romances: The Scarlet Letter, The House
of The Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, and The Marble Faun, Three hort stories collections: Twice-Told Tales, Moss from an Old Manse, and The Snow-Image and Other Twice-Told Tales, and two myth collection: A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys and Tanglewood Tales for Girls and Boys.
2.2 A Brief Contents about The Scarlet Letter
The story of The Scarlet Letter is a triangular love affair set in the Seventeenth-Century Boston, then a puritan settlement. An aging English scholar sends his beautiful young wife, Hester Prynne by name, to make their new home in New England. But for unknown reasons, the husband has not joined her in the colony. The consensus is that he has been lost at sea. While waiting for her husband, Hester loved with Arthur Dimmesdale, her puritan minister, and has given birth to a child, pearl. The love affair between Hester and Dimmesdale results in adultery. Hester confesses but refuses to reveal the name of the child‟s father. As a punishment, she is sentenced to three hours on the scaffold and a lifetime of wearing a scarlet letter “A” on her chest, the mark of her shame. When the elderly husband comes over two years later, he is bewildered to see his wife in pillory, wearing the scarlet letter “A” on her breast, holding her illicit child in her arms. The wronged husband, whose pride has been deeply wounded, is determined to seek out the adulterer and vows revenge on the man who has cuckolded him. The old scholar the disguises himself as a physician and changes his name to Roger Chillingworth. Gradually, he discovers that the villain is no other than the much-admired brilliant young clergyman, Arthur Dimmesdale. Though weighed down by the secret knowledge of his and hypocrisy, Dimmesdale is fearful of the consequences of confession, which would be more severe for the minister. He deals with his guilt by tormenting himself physically and psychologically, developing a serious heart condition as a result. In the meanwhile, his conscience is ruthlessly preyed upon by Chillingworth. Dimmesdale cuts himself off from community withers spiritually as well as physically.
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On the other hand, Hester‟s response to the scarlet letter “A” and her sin is a positive one. Though living on the fringe of the community and suffering social ostracism, she nevertheless bears her punishment courageously, expiates her sin by performing good deeds so that the community gradually changes its attitude and some of her peers even show their trust and admiration for her honesty and skillfulness. At one time Hester plans to leave America and flee to Europe, where the true lovers can live with Pearl as a family. The day before the ship is to sail, Dimmesdale preaches his most eloquent sermon for the townspeople. Afterwards he impulsively mounts the scaffold with his lover and daughter and confesses his sin and hypocrisy at public gathering. He falls dead, as pearl kisses him.
Frustrated in his revenge, Chillingworth died a year later. But in the very withering he makes his last will and testament and bequeaths a very considerable amount of property to little Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne by Dimmesdale. As heiress to his fortune, Pearl grows up to be married into a noble family of Europe.
ChapterIII Causes the Aspects of Loneliness in The Scarlet Letter
3.1 Hawthorne‟s Loneliness in His Personal Life
Hawthorne‟s father, who is a well known ship captain died at sea and left his wife. Then his wife at the age of twenty-eight, with children aged 6 and 4 and an infant of a few month. She withdrew entirely from society, and permitted the habit of solitude to grow up to such a degree that she actually remitted a strict hermit to the end of long life. Hawthorne himself though that such an unhealthy and separated family atmosphere provided a morbid consciousness that paralyzed his powers. When Hawthorne after leaving the Bowdon College, he returned to his uncle‟s old house in Salem. He devoted himself to reading and writing with less contact with the family members as well as outside world. One of his close friends Jonathan Cilley wrote : I love Hawthorne. I admire him, but I do not know him. He lives in a mysterious world of though and imagination while he never permits me to enter (Rubinstein, 1988:82).
From his family and his friends provided clues to Hawthorne‟s life were feelings
of gloom and alienation.
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3.2 Social and Cultural Backdrops of the novel
The story in The Scarlet Letter was happened in Boston in the 1600‟s. At that time, the puritans were prosecuted in England because they refused to abide by the rules of the Church of England, and then they left their home and came to American as permanent settlers. They were forced to settle in a new land far from homeland.
The Pilgrim Fathers suffered terrible hardships during the first winter and half of them died. In order to survive, they had to fight against the natural disasters and endure loneliness in the new world.
ChapterIV Four characters‟ Loneliness in The Scarlet Letter
4.1 Hester Prynne‟s Lonely Pursuer for Love
Hester Prynne is the main character in the novel; she was an honesty and goddess woman. Hester spent her happy childhood times with her parents, later , she grew up to be a beautiful young lady with an extremely passionate nature. She married with a handicapped scientist –Chillingworth. Chillingworth regarded himself
as „a man of thought, the bookworm of great libraries-a man already in decay,
have the best years to feed the hunger dream of knowledge ( Nathaniel, Hawthorne.1996: 29 ) . In contrast, Hester was in her budding youth, and had a figure of perfect elegance on a large scale. She had dark and abundant hair … and a face which, besides being beautiful from regularity of feature and richness of complexion , had the impressiveness belonging to a marked brow and deep black eyes ( Nathaniel, Hawthorne.1996: 56). She had an impulsive and passionate nature, whereas the husband devoted himself wholly to seeking the so-called truth in books. Chillingworth did not have an eye for Hester‟s youth and beauty. For the young and beautiful wife, passion and true love should be the basic principle and purpose of a holy marriage. The old and lonely husband was physically deformed. To make the matter worse, the husband indulged himself in alchemy and in medical research, totally neglecting his wife‟s inner minds for much of the time. The unhappy marriage indicated that there was no mutual
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understanding and communication between her and husband. The parents did not
know what Hester expected of her Mr. Right. Her marriage life was unromantic. The attitude of her husband made her loneliness too much. She need love from her husband, she was lonely.
When she settled alone in Boston, a place far from her parental home, the scenes of hometown were foreign to her. The connection between Hester and her relative in England seemed to have broken off. She often memorized that „her father‟s face, with its bald brow and reverend white beard…her mother‟s too, with the look of heedful and anxious love‟(Nathaniel, Hawthorne.1996: 27). Children will naturally recollect
parents‟ affection and happy moments spent together with relatives or friends, but Hester is a woman in need of consolation from her lover-Dimmesdale. When she came to Boston alone, for a single woman, she fell lonely. Then she met the minister-Dimmesdale. They were fall in love each other, but this action was not allowed by the Puritan. They incarcerated Hester and she must wear the scarlet letter“A” on her bosom, the scarlet letter “A” symbolic meaning is “Adultery”.
Hester lived in the seclusion on the outskirts of the town, in all her intercourse with society, there was nothing that made she feel as if she belonged to it. Every gesture, every word, and even the silence of those with whom she came in contact, implied, and often expressed, that she was banished and as much alone as if she inhabited another sphere, or communicated with the common nature by other organs and senses than the rest of human kind. Hester sometimes burst into passionate tears, since she has heart-smitten at the bewildering and confusing spell that so often came between Hester and her beloved daughter. Little Pearl was all her world, but there existed mental distance between the mother and her daughter. „sometimes, once in many days, or perchance in many months, she felt an eye-a human eye-upon the ignominious brand that seemed to give a momentary relief, as if half of her agony were shared‟(Nathaniel, Hawthorne.1996: 32). The daydreaming indicated that Hester had hoped that her lover could to comfort her and therefore she would be relieved from the state of loneliness for the time being.
4.2 Chillingworth‟s Lonely Revenge-Seeker
Roge Chillingworth was an abandoned husband by his wife. He was an old and lonely scholar in England dehumanized by a life abstruse studying. His twisted,
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