American Literature Paper One on The Scarlet Letter

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The two characters of Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter both fascinate me. Both men to serve the people, their lives would have paralleled each other if not for the circumstances of this book. The twisted way their lives intertwine, and the suffering that each of the men goes through, whether or not of their own doing, is great and helps create the character arc that drives them to the end of the book.


This is my thesis idea:


Although both Roger Chillingworth and Arthur Dimmesdale suffer from mental anguish, and one is a man of God and the other a man of Science, both sharing secrets, Dimmesdale's psychological torture is worse than Chillingworth's because he is a man of God, not an analytical scientific mind; the father of Pearl, not th cuckolded husband; and also unlike Chillingworth, Dimmesdale does not embrace the threat bestowed upon him.

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Ah, the love triangle! Always very dramatic, though in modern times we're often more sympathetic to the eventual loser.

You've done a good job stacking your thesis with observations, but not stopping with the observations -- I see that "X is worse than Y" claim at the center of your argument. That gives you a great starting point from which to start looking for evidence. As you find that evidence, be willing to adjust your claim so that the point you make reflects the evidence you found. Good work! You're definitely ready for the next step.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael McCullough published on October 4, 2010 12:31 PM.

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