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Social Realism in The Scarlet Letter

Social Realism in The Scarlet Letter

  • Victorian novel
  • Written in 1850s
  • Subject matter in taken from 1632
  • The setting of this novel is the puritan society of new England
  • Hawthorne falls upon the category of American Romantic
  • American Romanticism believes in transcendentalism
  • The writer is writing the novel in the time of Victorian age. He is influenced by the philosophy of American transcendentalism
  • He is taking the subject matter from the past American transcendentalism
  • It believes that our roul is the part of “overssoul”
  • All the human beings are the parts of “oversoul” so they are equal. In this case the notion of color discrimination and racial injustice is meaningless.
  • The social reformation beings only when we reform ourselves.
  • We have to begin the social reformation from ourselves
  • The advocators of the American transcendentalism rejected the standard religious practices and promoted the freedom of thought.
Victorian Puritan Romantic modern
17th centurythe use of images and  symbols
the church was strictthe love for the past
the Puritanism was controlling voiceunity of action
The extramarital relationship is supposed to be the criminal act. Those criminal were punished by making them chimbing on the scafford and wear the letter ‘A’Open endeness
This was the symbol of Adultery committed by the person



Structure of the novel

In the novel there is the main plot without any subplots

  • The use of symbols and images
  • Rose bush near the prison
  • The Letter ‘A’
  • The prison

Social Realism in “Scarlet Letter”

Transcendentalism, Victorianism, Puritanism

  • The novel of as the historical Romance
  • Physical and psychological isolation
  • As the Christian novel
  • the novel as the love story
  • Who is the protagonist Christianity Hester Roger chillingworh psychological and physical isolation in “The Scarlet Letter” individual (mdernit tech) Basic solitariness
  • Physical
  • Psychological

The nation of physical and psychological isolation is one of the formative structure of the novel “Scarlet Letter” physical isolation is outward isolation whereas psychological isolation is the isolation inwardly. Hester Prynne’s physical isolation but psychologically strong is opposed to Arthur dimmesdale’s physically not isolated but psychologically haunted which is the cause of his death.

Hester Prynne

  • She is confident in choosing Arthur Dimondale
  • She thinks that it is the individual right of a female to be satisfied physically by her male partner which she lacks from the side of Roger chillingworth that makes the choose Arthur dimmesdale.
  • Pearl is the gift of their relation
  • This relation is taken as the sin by the Puritan society so Hester is punished not the scaffold with the public defame
  • Prynne’s being physically isolated does not make her psychologically weak
  • She is strong in her determination
  • So, she never looses the hope
  • Either in the scaffold or in the prison or in the society she is isolated physically.
  • But her psychological determination makes her result against the social structure whichsejains her public fame at last

Psychological isolation

Deimmesdale is not physically isolated but suffers from self humiliation. His incapability to remove hissinful behaviour is the cause of his death. His realization of the crime in copiloting Hester becomes the cause of his death. Psychological isolation has been proved more infections than the physical isolation.

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