Hawthorne’s style in writing the scarlett letter in focusing on Hester

For the introduction please write the following:
(does/did) what?
to/for/with whom?

then go off into thesis and etc.

Thank you

English 107: Writing about Literature

Essay #3 the research essay about the novel


The third essay will explore the novel The Scarlet Letter, integrating into the analysis at least four academically appropriate articles or books (chapters) that examine some aspect of the novel. Two sources will be written about in an annotated bibliography. The essay will be 850-950 words in MLA format with a works cited page. Choose one of the following options as your starting place. Run the topic through the handout “Criteria for Considering Theme” and “Building Thesis Statements.” Develop the essay supporting the topic with key scenes, explicated passages, analyses of setting, symbols, imagery and motifs, quoted comments and your insights. The essay will be 800 – 900 words.


Due Dates and points


  • Annotated bibliography and outline for essay #3 due Tuesday, November 9.
  • Post the draft for essay #3 online for peer editing by Sunday, November 14.
  • Peer editing online is due by Tuesday, November 16
  • The revised essay will be due printed in class on Thursday, November 18.
  • Take the essay draft to the Writers’ Studio for 20 extra points


The point of researching for an essay about literature is to better understand the novel, the story, the various components of the story, and to read it on several more levels. In reading The Scarlet Letter we examine the storyline, the language use, the historical background, the community dynamics, and the insights into human nature.


Topic suggestions:


1.  Examine the meaning of the scarlet letter that Hester wears. Consider the relationship between the letter and Hester’s identity. Consider why she continually wears it even when it is no longer expected. Consider the letter’s meaning to Hester, to Pearl, to the townspeople, to Dimmesdale. Consider the difference between the identity she creates for herself and the identity society assigns to her. Address why she doesn’t leave, and then why, ultimately, she comes back.


2.  For those of you who saw the play or watched a film version, compare and contrast the two, examining all the criteria covered in the text’s drama section about staging a story. Identify the variant focuses and emphases in the two versions. Did the film or play stay close to the original? Or not? How and why?


3.  Examine the story’s historical background, the Puritan 17th century as the setting and the mid 19th century as the time it was written. Explore the Puritans in that era, their history, societal, political, and religious beliefs. Examine the time period that Hawthorne writes in. How does his situation and historical context impact the story? In what way might he be using the earlier time to examine his own era? Note the literary traditions of the development of the story.


4. Focus on one or even all three of the main characters: Hester, Dimmesdale, or Chillingworth. Why are they the way they are? What are their roles in society that shape them? What part do they play in their society? Provide a psychological analysis, examining their attitudes, expectations, beliefs, actions, and the resulting tensions both within themselves and with the other characters and townspeople.


Grading Criteria:


Central Idea                  Evaluated on the relevance, scope and clarity of your thesis and forecast statements.


Organization                 The arrangement of your ideas and how well they are connected.


Coherence                     The progression of your ideas through your use of cueing devices, time markers, paragraph development and transitions.


Support                         Your choice of evidence (facts, examples, scenes, and quotations) and the degree and the manner in which (word choice, logic, order, etc.) you employ your evidence from the four sources, as well as from the novel.


Readability                    The use of grammar, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure,    word variety and sentence variety.


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