Darkness Illuminated

Since the conception of humanity, man has been fascinated with that presence which illuminates, yet cannot be touched. Mankind has brought it into his religions, giving it a great deal of importance in his creed. Following in the footsteps of his ancestors, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses light as a tool of God that illuminates the darkness of human iniquity and exposes its permanence. He studies the psychological theme of the impossibility of eradicating sin from the human heart in his novel The Scarlet Letter.
The use of light in order to fortify this psychological theme confirms its significance in the novel. As though he were weaving an elaborate tapestry, Hawthorne meshes lights intense symbolism into his characters natures until a chef d’oeuvre manifests itself upon the loom of the readers intellect. This tapestry serves as a subtle background upon which the characters sinful hearts are bared. As Hawthorne navigates the reader through the passages of his dark tale, one follows Hester as she goes to Governor Bellinghams mansion. Light is reflected by almost every aspect of the extravagant dwelling.
Through the narrators words, we see the Governors house as Hester sees it: “…though partly muffled by a curtain, it [the hallway] was more powerfully illuminated by one of those embowed hall windows…” (Hawthorne 101). One can envision the brilliant sunlight streaming though the immense window, slicing through the facade of the Governors feigned sanctity. Is not simplicity one of the fundamental tenets of the Puritan faith Yet Bellingham, the very person that passed judgment on Hester and her sin is laid bare to the readers opened eye.

Here, light shows Governor Bellingham to be corrupt due to his improvident lifestyle. In his genius, Hawthorne defines light not only as a presence, but as an animate consciousness. Still acting as a tool of God, light seems to run away from Hester when she tries to touch it. Pearl, in her inexplicable intuitiveness, says to Hester, “…the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom” (Hawthorne 180).
Although Pearl makes this comment concerning the scarlet “A”, one may argue that the sunlight is actually afraid of Hesters sin, and not the scarlet “A”. In this case, light is used to remind Hester of her sin and to bring it to the front of her mind as punishment for her adultery. Not only does light show Hesters sin to herself, it shows her sin to others as well. Near the end of the story, Mistress Hibbins speaks with Hester, “I know thee, Hester; for I behold the token. We may all see it in the sunshine; and it glows like a red flame in the dark” (Hawthorne 237).
By shining on the palpable reminder of Hesters sin, the sunlight screams to others of the scarlet letters noncorporeal counterpart: her immorality. Though the scarlet “A” is intrinsically only a superficial indication of Hesters sin, Mistress Hibbins goes beyond this surface detail when she says, “I know thee”, implying that she perceives the immutable nature of Hesters sin. Light can expose not only exterior indications of human sin, but can also make known the sin itself. Hawthorne leaves the reader with a crystal clear picture of how light is a brutal reminder of mans permanent sin.
It cuts, pierces, even shatters the masks which man tries to place over his sin. Man no longer falls on his knees in awe of the dazzling lightning bolt or the godlike rays of sunlight through misty clouds. He no longer regards light as a magical deity to be worshipped. Despite this, Hawthorne again bestows upon light its original glory as a thing of God. Its role remains constant as an exhibitor of iniquity, a spotlight lancing into the sordid darkness of mankinds damned souls.

Place your order
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
$26
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Urgency
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more

Order your essay today and save 15% with the discount code SUCCESS