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Transcendentalism in the Scarlet Letter

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1 Transcendentalism in the Scarlet Letter
By Lizzy Emmit, Ellie Gulick, Michelle Szczech, and Karly Lohan

2 Topic: Would you define the Scarlet Letter as a transcendentalist novel?
Characters that are most important for this topic Pearl Hester Dimmesdale Members of the Puritan society Themes related to this topic Individual vs. Society Transcendentalism ellie

3 What would be explained in this topic?
How nature and Pearl interact with each other How Dimmesdale acts in the forest Hester’s place in society, the stigma associated with the Scarlet Letter and her sin, and how the meaning of the letter changes from “Adulterer” to “Able” What would be proved in this topic? That the ideas of transcendentalism are present throughout the novel michelle

4 Working Thesis “The Scarlet Letter can be defined as a Transcendentalist novel that reflects the ideas of Emerson and Thoreau because of the way that Pearl interacts with nature and her surroundings, the effect that the forest has on Dimmesdale, and the stigma associated with the Scarlet Letter that allows Hester to transcend in her own sphere above the Puritan society.” karly

5 Quote 1 Chapter 5, page 102 “They averred, that the symbol was not mere scarlet cloth, tinged in an earthly dye-pot, but was red hot with infernal fire, and could be seen glowing all alight, whenever Hester Prynne walked abroad in the night-time. And we must needs say, it seared Hester’s bosom so deeply, that perhaps there was more truth in the rumor than our modern incredulity may be inclined to admit.” lizzie

6 Quote 2 Chapter 6, page 103 “Man had marked this woman’s sin by a scarlet letter, which had such potent and disastrous efficacy that no human sympathy could reach her, save it were sinful like herself. God, as a direct consequence of the sin which man thus punished, had given her a lovely child, whose place was on that same dishonored bosom, to connect her parent for ever with the race and descent of mortals, and to be finally a blessed soul in heaven!” karly

7 Quote 3 Chapter 18, page 246 “The truth seems to be, however, that the mother-forest, and these wild things which it nourished, all recognized a kindred wildness in the human child. And she was gentler here than in the grassy-margained streets of the settlement, or in her mother’s cottage .” Ellie

8 Quote 4 Chapter 16, page 223 “And, mother, the old dame said that this scarlet letter was the Black Man’s mark on thee, and that it glows like a red flame when thou meetest him at midnight, here in the dark wood. Is it true, mother? And dost thou go to meet him in the night-time?” lizzie

9 Quote 5 Chapter 5, page 94 “Hester Prynne, therefore, did not flee. On the outskirts of town, within the verge of the peninsula, but in close vicinity to any other habitation, thee was a small thatched cottage. It had been built by an earlier settler, and abandoned because the soil about it was too sterile for cultivation, while in comparative remoteness put it out of the sphere of that social activity which already marked the habits of the emigrants.” Michelle

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