In American history, logic and facts were more important than silly emotions at times. After the Industrial Revolution began, the Romantic writing style was reintroduced to the mainstream. It emphasized emotions such as guilt, anger and sin. This was a sign that American society was moving into another time when intuition and spontaneity were much more important. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter uses Dark Romanticism themes to address the issues of the characters. Hawthorne uses these principles to address themes such as evil, good and bad, the inherent madness and innocence of children in his book.
Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter is a powerful symbol of the importance sin and guilt. The book examines Arthur Dimmesdale’s guilt and compares it with Roger Chillingsworth’s revenge-driven actions. Hawthorne says that guilt’s effects upon the mind are completely innocuous, but this emotion is far more dangerous than any knife. Dimmesdale, for example, is obsessed with his own sins and afraid of not being able to confess them. He also connects his sins with the world around them. This makes him see hatred, evil, shame all around. His high status is at risk because the forest represents his secrets, which could be revealed at any moment by the villagers. Dimmesdale appears to be consumed by his guilt and sees everyone in danger. However, Roger Chillingsworth is the real threat. Dimmesdale has trouble recognizing threats, as he can see them all. The story is filled with characters who debate the identity of the “black man”. The devil’s child is Pearl, while Dimmesdale and Chillingsworth are thought to be the two. The characters desire to understand the root cause of the evil they have seen manifest in their lives as a result of their sins. They wonder if Chillingsworth was made evil by Hester’s love for Dimmesdale. This leads to the belief that love for another person breeds hatred, which then creates evil. The narrator argues that the knowledge of one’s heart “reinforces” dependence on another. Two people sharing comfort with one another is not an act that would be considered evil. Dimmesdale or Hester were not able to define evil. Evil can be found in Chillingsworth’s venomous heart, which was created from false love.
The Scarlet Letter reflects a strong belief that youth is innocent. Youth is always regarded as an superior concept of wisdom in the Scarlet Letter. We are told in the story that urban society has not influenced our knowledge. Pearl, Hester’s daughter, was able to discern that the Dimmesdale, the “black man,” was Hester. She wondered why he didn’t show his affections publicly while only doing so in private. The forest represents an escape from the society. Hester, Dimmesdale could only speak freely in this environment. The forest also considered Pearl its own, allowing her to interact easily with the animals and making them feel unafraid. Both the forest and her author acknowledge Pearl’s innocence. They interact with her.
Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a variety of ideals to inscribe many themes of Dark Romanticism to convey the ideals of 19th-century authors. For personalities that view life differently, such as the Dark Romantic era of the 19th-century, the innocence of youth and madness of human psyche are used. The Scarlet Letter shows the time period in detail and offers comfort that this instrumental period can still be found through this book.