The Novels The Scarlet Letter and Minister's Black Veil

Literature helps people recognize more about who they are and how they could make better of themselves. Great literature teaches us about the qualities of mankind; both good and bad. In a quote from Oedipus Rex, Tieresias says “Think: all men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong and repairs the evil, The only crime is pride.” This quote means that everybody commits errors and it is a natural trait of mankind to make mistakes.

What makes a person good is his ability to recognize what he has done wrong and tries to make up for their mistake. The only crime of a person is caring too much about his pride and what others would think of him It is bad when a person is too conceited to know what he has done wrong. I agree with this statement because I know people make lots of mistakes but nothing will make a person better until they fix their problem.

Some novels can relate to this quote The Scarlet w by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Minister’s Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne describes about characters that have done wrong deeds but try to become better people. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorn establishes fitting characters and setting that revolves around the Puritan community of early colonial America. The puritans were known as a strict group that followed the belief of Calvinism. They believed everything revolved around God and man was naturally eviL Only doing good and obeying God’s demands such as reading the bible could save a person from damnation.

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This type of setting allows the development of characters that help interprets the quote. The novel’s theme is an individual versus their society. The protagonist Hester Prynne, is a woman that has committed adultery in her town.

She lives in a puritan community so the people and town fathers treat her harshly, As punishment, Hester is forced to wear a scarlet “A“ on her chest for the rest of her life. Hester knows that the “A” will always be part of her until she has realized her sin and corrects it. She is outcast from her community as she lives in an abandoned cabin at the edge of town. When given the option to leave Boston, she chooses to stay in the town, Hester becomes contemplative since she speculates on human nature, social organization, and larger moral questions Hester uses her talent of needlework and constantly knits clothes to support herself. She devotes part of her time to charity work but the people she helps constantly insult her. Eventually, Hester regains the respect of her community as she constantly does good deeds for the town, Another character in The Scarlet Letter that interprets the critical lens is Arthur Dimmesdale. He is proof of the part of the quote that states “The only crime is pride” Hawthorne establishes Dimmesdale as a highly looked upon town minister.

He is described as a man that shows little sympathy to the common man and woman, Also he never reveals his sin to the public because of his fear of what others would think of him. The guilt inside him eventually stores inside him and slowly causes him to fade away. He is punished for his crime as he is always in pain. Dimmesdale never admits his wrong until the end where he would die after revealing his sin to the town Nathaniel Hawthorne was known for his writings about the Puritan way of living. Another novel he wrote that is similar to The Scarlet Letter was The Minister’s, Black Veil. This novel was also set in a Puritan society where people highly feared eviL Mri Looper, a minister who appears before a crowd of people wearing a black veil covering his face, Many people think that he was committed a crime or his face was disfigured and refuses to show his face to the public.

The reader never knows about why he puts on the veil but we know he is outcast by the town people. People soon feared him and gossip is spread about him. As the story progresses, he visits funerals and weddings but he never reveals his face. Even in his deathbed he refuses to remove the veil and continued after he died Looper’s refusal to reveal his face shows that he is determined to fix the problem he has done. Both The Scarlet Letter and The Minister’s Black Veil are examples of stories that interpret the quote’s meaning of making up for the mistakes a person has done, Both Hester and Looper recognize their wrongdoing and were determined to fix it Hester continues to wear the marking of an adulteress and Looper wears the black veil. They are not afraid of showing the people they have made a mistake and is determined to repair their fault.

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The Novels The Scarlet Letter and Minister's Black Veil. (2023, Apr 20). Retrieved from

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