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How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps
Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.
Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas
The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.
Step 2: Research Your Topic
Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.
Step 3: Formulate Your Argument
Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.
Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement
Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.
Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement
The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.
Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Writing help, paraphrasing tool, the theme of exposed sin in the scarlet letter.
- Nathaniel Hawthorne , The Scarlet Letter
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Discuss Nathaniel Hawthorne’s portrayal of the theme of exposed sin versus hidden sin in the novel as seen through the development of the main characters over the course of the story. For this essay, challenge yourself to develop a more sophisticated thesis statement that is a complex or a compound-complex sentence rather than the three-pronged format. Additionally, each body paragraph needs to contain three quotes. Be sure that the quotes DO NOT COME FROM THE SAME CHAPTER.
Refusing to name the father, she lives her life alone as a sinner and is forced to wear the letter “A”. Hester’s husband comes to the town she is living in and makes it his life purpose to track the man who committed the sinful act with his wife. Transition (may be phrase or entire sentence) from summary to thesis – Although there are positives and negatives on whether to reveal sin, revealing sin is the only way to live a truthful life and show who you really are to the world. Thesis Statement – (compound) Complex sentence structure – Through The Scarlet Letter, the main characters are faced with exposed and hidden sin, and even though those who do not reveal their sin will be the only one who know the truth, they will live through life unhappy and unfulfilled while those who reveal their sin gain more purpose and happiness since they do not have to carry a large burden of guilt.
II. Body Paragraph # 1:
CHILLINGWORTH Topic Sentence – how does this sentence connect to your thesis statement? Chillingworth rotted his life away by making his goal in life to torture someone else and lived in iniquity, which in turn made his life sad and unmeaningful.
A. Quote #1 – “[Roger] hall seek [Dimmesdale], as [Roger] a sympathy that will make [Dimmesdale] conscious of him. [He] shall see him tremble. [He] shall feel [himself] shudder, suddenly and unawares. Sooner or later, [Dimmesdale] must needs be [Roger’s]!” (Hawthorn 64). a. how does the quote support your topic sentence? – shows how Roger’s only purpose now is to torture Dimmesdale and to emotionally destroy him, which is causing more sin.
B. Quote # 2 – “In a word, old Roger Chillingworth was striking evidence of man’s faculty of transforming himself into a devil. If he will only, for a reasonable space of time, undertake a devil’s office” (Hawthorne 140).
b. how does the quote support your topic sentence? – Shows how Roger is continuing to feed into his evil desires to torture another human being, and how he is focused on nothing else, starts to look as evil and he is being.
C. Quote # 3 – “‘Nothing was more remarkable than the change which took place, almost immediately after Mr. Dimmesdale’s death, in the appearance and demeanour of the old man known as Roger Chillingworth. All his strength and energy-all his vital and intellectual force-seemed at once to desert him; insomuch that he positively withered up, shrivelled away, and almost vanished from mortal sight….” (Hawthorn 212).
c. How does the quote support your topic sentence? – shows how because Roger lived such a sinful, secretive, and manipulative evil life, he ended up being weak and living an unfulfilling and unmeaningful life.
D. Concluding sentence – Roger Chillingworth ended up physically and psychologically weak from his time of torment, and ended up suffering from the life he lived torturing others. III. Body Paragraph # 2: HESTER Topic Sentence – how does this sentence connect to your thesis statement? – Because Hester was able to admit to herself and the people she lived with about her sins, she lead a truthful life and ended up learning about herself and being unshameful for who she was.
A. Quote #1 – “The very law that condemned [Hester]-a giant of stern features, but with vigor to support, as well as to annihilate, in his iron arm-help her up, though the terrible ordeal of her ignominy” (Hawthorne 66).
a. how does the quote support your topic sentence? – Although the letter brought her shame, she grew stronger mentally and because more wise about life around her and helped her overcome her sinful act.
B. Quote # 2 – “The tendency of her Fate and fortunes had been to set [Hester] free. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers…they had made her strong” (Hawthorn 165). b. how does the quote support your topic sentence? – rom Hester’s scarlet letter, she was able to experience aspects of life and new discoveries that a normal woman condemned by society would not. She had more freedom that those who were socially accepted and got to live life the way she wanted.
C. Quote # 3 – “…the scarlet letter ceased to be a stigma which attracted the world’s scorn and bitterness, became a type of something to be sorrowed over, and looked upon with awe, yet with reverence too. And, as Hester Prynne had no selfish ends, nor lived in any measure for her own profit and enjoyment, people brought all their sorrows and perplexities, and besaught her counsel, as one who had herself gone through a mighty trouble” (Hawthorne 215).
c. How does the quote support your topic sentence? – Because of the scarlet letter, Hester was able to end up helped others with their problems and brought peace to others minds and was looked up to because she was so open and willing to tell people about what she had done. She did good for her society even though she was shamed upon because she wanted to help others.
D. Concluding sentence – Hester was open about her wrongdoings, and from that she didn’t have a burden on herself and was able to grow from how she was seen differently. From her suffering, she helped other people get through their problems. IV. Body Paragraph # 3: DIMMESDALE Topic Sentence – how does this sentence connect to your thesis statement? – Arthur Dimmesdale was loved by all his townspeople but lied about himself because he was cowardly and kept a secret that would lead to his suffering.
A. Quote #1 – “[Dimmesdale] had striven to put a cheat upon himself by making the avowal of a guilty conscience, but had gained only one other sin, and a self-acknowledged shame, without the momentary relief of being self-deceived…by the constitution of his nature, he loved the truth, and loathed the lie, as few men ever did. Therefore above all things else, he loathed his miserable self!” (Hawthorn 120).
a. how does the quote support your topic sentence? – Dimmesdale hated lying, yet lied for 7 years and felt awful about himself. He was miserable and unhappy showing why someone should reveal their sins.
B. Quote # 2 – “‘No, Hester, no!’ replied the clergyman. ‘There is no substance in it! It is cold and dead, and can do nothing got [Dimmesdale]! Of penance [he] had enough, of penitence there has been none!'” (159)
b. how does the quote support your topic sentence? – Dimmesdale is not showing he is sorry for his actions because he does not want to admit to the townspeople that he has sinned. Instead, he self punishes himself to try to feel better but ends up feeling worse and wishes that he didn’t feel like such a liar to the townspeople who trust him.
c. How does the quote support your topic sentence? – Dimmesdale ended up dying from his sins and self punishment because he kept lying to everyone who trusted him.
D. Concluding sentence – If Dimmesdale had told the truth and admitted and learned from his sins, he wouldn’t have ended up suffering and dying unhappy, instead he would have grown as a person and learned from his mistakes. V. Concluding paragraph – Roger Chillingworth and Arthur Dimmesdale both lead secretive lives that ended up being the main reason for their deaths, while Hester who was truthful ended up leading a life helping those around her. Revealing sin ends up being positive because it shows truthfulness and strength while hiding sin leads to unhappiness and eternal pain.
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The Scarlet Letter Thesis Statements and Essay Topics
Below you will find four outstanding thesis statements / paper topics for “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne that can be used as essay starters. All four incorporate at least one of the themes found in “The Scarlet Letter” and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary of “The Scarlet Letter” in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from “The Scarlet Letter” on our quotes page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.
Topic #1: Christian Values in the Scarlet Letter
Hester Prynne is scorned by almost everyone in the town when she is found to be pregnant by a man who is not her husband. She bravely bears her punishment and continues to live there. The citizens of the town are very harsh in both their judgment and treatment of her. They want to take Pearl away from her, but are waylaid by Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Because his identity as Hester’s lover is unknown, he is still considered to be a respectable member of the town. He is able to sway the stricter Reverend John Wilson. Yet if Reverend Wilson knew of Reverend Dimmesdale’s sin, he would react differently. Drawing on examples from the book, contrast the two reverend’s ‘Christian values’ set forth by the two reverends contrast.
Topic #2: The Role of the Men
In Scarlet Letter , the minister is the unacknowledged father of Hester’s child. Hester allows herself to be shunned and punished by the townspeople, but never gives up his name. Hester bears the weight of their sins on the outside because she carries and gives birth to Pearl. The minister brands himself with the letter A on his chest, but does not come forward until several years later. Meanwhile, it eats at him over the years, eventually leading to his early death. In addition, Roger Chillingworth is Hester’s husband who shows up after the adultery has been committed. He is much older than Hester and is going by a different name. He only reveals his true identity to her, then seeks to bring about what destruction he can. Explore the differences between the roles of husband and lover. Hester knows the ‘true’ identity of each man, yet she keeps it to herself for much of the book. How are Dimmesdale and Chillingworth different? How are the two men alike?
Thesis Statement #3: Symbolism
The Letter “A” that is pinned to Hester Prynne originally stands for adultery, but as Hester becomes more involved in the community, much of the town forgets Hester’s original crimes and claims that it stands for angel instead. Even though Hester has improved her image with the town, she does not take off the letter until the near end of the novel, and never asks for forgiveness and an end to her ordeal. The letter A has different connotations for different characters, and evolves through the novel. Discuss how symbolism plays a role not only in a novel, but in life itself.
Topic #4: The Character of Pearl
Pearl is the person caught in the middle of her parents’ sins. She is shunned and mistreated because of what her mother did. She is also very perceptive of the relationship between Hester and Arthur. She spends her first few years enduring the treatment she receives from the townspeople. She struggles with her parents’ relationship. In the end, Hester takes Pearl to Europe. Pearl ends up marrying well and inheriting wealth upon Roger Chillingworth’s death. Examine how her character is shaped by her first few years—the maturity and understanding that she has of how the world works. Do the move to Europe and the inheritance from Roger Chillingworth somehow make up for her difficult childhood?
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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter Thesis
Type of paper: Thesis
Topic: Ethics , Morality , The Scarlet Letter , Letter , Sin , Society , Women , Literature
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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novels can be perceived as significant and resilient records of the contemporary Puritan society, disclosing the social and religious order prevalent at that time. His novels portray the clash between the individual and moral values and virtues and social goodness and ethical codes. Laurence Sargent Hall says: “The moral problem to be found wherever the individual’s mal- adjustment to society culminates in sin furnished Hawthorne with his major tragic themes. In the main this problem is worked out through some resolution by the individual of his mal- adjustment, an expiation of sin, by coming to terms with society- by coming to terms with a democratic society.” Thus debauchery, corruption and reprimand, or sin and rebirth through moral courage, tenacity and awakening form the principal theme of the major novels of Hawthorne. The Scarlet Letter is one of the most powerful of his novels projecting this theme. It can surely be called as one of the finest novels of American literature. The novel invokes the disastrous, intense tale of passion and vengeance, retains a power and profundity that he did not achieve in any of his other works. The novel was published in the year 1850 and gained wide public and critical attention. There are four major and significant characters such as Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, Pearl Prynne and Roger Chillingworth. The present thesis attempts to analyse the theme of redemption as attained by the characters in the novel, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale. The Scarlet Letter unveils the heartless character of the Puritan society of the seventeenth century. It was a very narrow-minded, conformist and inflexible moral order that was levied on society by the Church. This simulated societal moral order was contrary to all psychological demands and individual freedom. It devitalized the principal current of life by suppressing and crushing punishment for any lapse in the prescribed moral and ethical code by the individual. The Puritan society of Boston at this time was theocratic. The Church governed not only the religious but also the socio- political life. Individuals who rebelled or affronted the social code were considered to be hazardous and were brutally punished by the Church. In The Scarlet Letter the sin committed is the sin of adultery. The sinner, Hester, is penalized, openly disgraced and expelled from the society. But by her moral courage, resolute resolution and devoutness to social service, she redeems herself into a great philanthropist. Thus the central theme of the novel is sin and regeneration through moral courage and resolution. Harold Bloom points out The Scarlet Letter is a novel about judgment and about the relations that arise between publicly trumpeted or imposed values and private moral decision. It is important to make this point at once, because The Scarlet Letter is too often imprecisely read as a condemnation of Puritan hypocrisy and intolerance; these are matters of concern for Hawthorne, but they are not the principal focus of the narrative. The Puritans provide an excellent example of provincial bigotry and unself-conscious inconsistency between theory and practice; Hawthorne does depict them, for the most part, as ignorant rabble. However, their hypocrisy and prejudice are not entirely taken for granted; rather, they are tested by the events of the novel and permitted to unfold in a variety of opinions (21). The chief sinner in the novel is Hester Prynne. She has committed the sin of adultery. Thus she has violated and defined the strict moral and ethical code of the society. She has come into conflict with the strict religious injunctions of the Puritan morality, and for this violation of the established moral code, she is awarded a very harsh, demoralizing and shameful punishment. Hawthorne introduces Hester in a distinct style: The young woman was tall, with a figure of perfect elegance on a large scale. She had dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam; and a face. She was ladylike, too, after the manner of the feminine gentility of those days; characterised by a certain state and dignity, rather than by the delicate, evanescent, and indescribable grace which is now recognised as its indication. It may be true that, to a sensitive observer, there was something exquisitely painful in it (80-81). She is persuaded to wear the scarlet letter “A” on her breast constantly, exhibiting to the people that she is guilty of adultery. She could have eluded this punishment by running away to an unknown place, but has a moral strength and firmness of will. She has also been awarded a term of imprisonment on the same charge of adultery. It is this lady who comes out of the prison with the letter “A” hanging on her bosom. The scarlet letter is a mode of adjustment with the society. It appears as a brand on her bosom to the spectators. A woman spectator contemptuously looks at her and says: She hath good skill at her needle, that's certain," remarked one of her female spectators; "but did ever a woman, before this brazen hussy, contrive such a way of showing it? Why, gossips, what is it but to laugh in the faces of our godly magistrates, and make a pride out of what they, worthy gentlemen, meant for a punishment (81)? The symbolic letter “A” embodying punishment to her for her transgression of the Puritan morality and afflicting her with anguish links her with the society, and she puts it on as if it were a thing of admiration. This was a result of her conviction that though physically defiled, she was spiritually pure and upright. Pearl, the daughter of Heater, is unjustly made to share the moral lapse and guilt of her mother. She is a product of the rank luxuriance of her mother and finds a place on Hester’s “dishonoured bosom”. With this background of sin, dishonour and shame, she has to establish her relations with “the race and descent of mortals.” Pearl’s moral nature has been imbibed from the mother. “The mother’s impassioned state has been the medium through which were transmitted to the unborn infant the rays of its moral life; and however white and clear originally, they had taken the deep stains of crimson and gold, the fiery lustre, the black shadow, and the un -tempered light of the intervening substance.” Pearl’s character and moral nature bears an image of her mother. The second great sinner is Dimmesdale. He is equally guilt of adultery with Hester. He is equally guilty of adultery with Hester. But he lacks the moral courage of Hester. Dimmesdale’s suffering and spiritual agonies are intensified because of his inability to acknowledge his guilt. His cogitation and his conflicting thoughts pinch his soul and convert him into a moral coward. He aggravates his sin by concealing it from the public eye. He is not only a sinner, but also a hypocrite. His always keeping his hand on his heart is also a symbol of his weakness. He is always haunted by his sense of guilt. He tortures himself but is not able to purify himself. His feeling of remorse, which eats into his vitals, brings him before Hester in a mood of repentance. He tells her: As concerns the good which I may appear to do, I have no faith in it. It must needs be a delusion. What can a ruined soul like mine effect towards the redemption of other souls?—or a polluted soul towards their purification? And as for the people's reverence, would that it was turned to scorn and hatred! Canst thou deem it, Hester, a consolation that I must stand up in my pulpit, and meet so many eyes turned upward to my face, as if the light of heaven were beaming from it!—must see my flock hungry for the truth, and listening to my words as if a tongue of Pentecost were speaking!—and then look inward, and discern the black reality of what they idolise? I have laughed, in bitterness and agony of heart, at the contrast between what I seem and what I am! And Satan laughs at it (283- 84)! However, in the end, both Hester and Dimmesdale are redeemed through repentance, moral courage, resolution and human service. During the seven years. When she has worn the letter “A”, she is instilled with an altruism, and love for the sick and downtrodden. Dimmesdale’s health suffers, she thinks it her duty and responsibility to restore him. With the passage of time, through hert suffering, martyrdom and repentance she identifies herself with the race of man. She helps the poor and the sick and in the time of pestilence she is devoted. She is the sister of Mercy. Hawthorne adds: Hester's nature showed itself warm and rich—a well-spring of human tenderness, unfailing to every real demand, and inexhaustible by the largest. Her breast, with its badge of shame, was but the softer pillow for the head that needed one. She was self-ordained a Sister of Mercy, or, we may rather say, the world's heavy hand had so ordained her, when neither the world nor she looked forward to this result. The letter was the symbol of her calling. Such helpfulness was found in her—so much power to do, and power to sympathise—that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Abel, so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman's strength (237). The Scarlet letter has the effect of cross. Her life is no more the life of passion, but rather that of thought. She has greater speed of speculation and rationalism. She meets Chillingworth, her former husband to prevent him from wreaking his vengeance on Dimmesdale. She speaks to Chillingworth: Yet it was not without heavy misgivings that I thus bound myself, for, having cast off all duty towards other human beings, there remained a duty towards him, and something whispered me that I was betraying it in pledging myself to keep your counsel. Since that day no man is so near to him as you. You tread behind his every footstep. You are beside him, sleeping and waking. You search his thoughts. You burrow and rankle in his heart! Your clutch is on his life, and you cause him to die daily a living death, and still he knows you not. In permitting this I have surely acted a false part by the only man to whom the power was left me to be true (251)! In order to protect Dimmesdale, her partner in the guilt, she dissuades him from being fiendish out of his hatred for Dimmesdale. Hawthorne has embodied the problem of guilty, sin and retribution through Hester. Hester falls as a victim to sin and later through the agency of sin, there is a transformation of her character. She is the sister of Mercy and dedicates her life to the service of the sick, poor and the downtrodden. As the novel ends, we encounter Hester’s emergence as an angel of mercy. Dimmesdale also seems equally redeemed and rejuvenated. He wins our admiration by his intense and secret suffering. The love which Hester Prynne bears towards this man also enhances our admiration of the great minister. His haunted, emaciated figure cannot be forgotten by any sensitive reader. By revealing the hidden workings of the mind of Arthur Dimmesdale, Hawthorne is able to retain our admiration for him. Real heroism lies in inner torment and Arthur Dimmesdale suffers this internal torment greatly. The temptations which he has to suffer increase his stature as a priest and minister.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Champaign, Ill.: Project Gutenberg, 1999. Print. Bloom, Harold. Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. New York: Chelsea House, 1986. Print.
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“The Scarlet Letter” Thesis Statement Essay
The Scarlet Letter thesis Statement Essay Symbolism is one of the major leading and critical part of the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Each character in the novel represents different meanings and ideas. However, the main character who develops into an appealing symbol is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne. Pearl’s representation changes throughout the novel, but she is continually displayed as a wicked character and is demonstrated as God’s “punishment” for Hester’s guilt, and not only that; she continues to disregard the Puritan laws by relating with the nature and being over-joyful.
Pearl, sometimes described as worse as a witch, is a young girl, somewhat smart, with wild temper. Hester, as a single mother of this child, was under heavy stress and guilt. She says, “Oh Father in heaven- if thou art still my father- what is this being which I have brought into the world”? This quote very well describes what she was going through at the time when she was forced into isolation from the world under so much mockery. However, Hester doesn’t give up behaving the “right way. ” She continues to help many people in town, being honest and upright by consistently reflecting upon her sin.
Hawthorne also writes about Hester that she is, “wisely judging that one token of her shame would but poorly server to hide another. ” While Hester is punished for her guilt, Dimmesdale also suffers on his own. His sin was not adultery, but that he was not brave enough to confess that he had adulterated. It is hard for Dimmesdale to confess, however, being a minister; he keeps quiet to continue “working for God. ” However, Pearl was not only Hester’s consequence and responsibility but also Dimmesdale’s. Pearl shouts out to him, “Thou was not bold! thou wast not true! … Thou woudst not promise to take my hand, and my mother’s…” when Dimmesdale does not stand in the scaffold with them. Pearl seemed to know everything about the scarlet letter, including the fact that Dimmesdale was her father, and she persistently burdens both Hester and Dimmesdale more than they were already. Later, though, Dimmesdale finally realizes what he had done when he sees Hester suffering all by herself for what they had committed together. He confesses his sins in the end and feels deep joy and freedom in his heart.
Pearl is very attracted to the scarlet letter ever since she was a baby. The author writes that “her infant’s eyes had been caught by the glimmering of the gold embroidery about the letter. ” There was a scene where Hester took off her letter “A” and threw it on the ground. Pearl then screams and shouts at her mother for what she had done until she puts her letter back on. Hawthorne describes Pearl as “the scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed with life” which tells us that when the “A” was just for the public humiliation, Pearl represented the true scarlet being.
- Romanticism In The Scarlet Letter
Hester knew about Pearl’s over-reacting behavior,
but she could not condemn the child. Pearl, indeed, was a much powerful “scarlet letter” for Hester than the actual thread that told the world about her guilt. Pearl truly played one of the major parts in The Scarlet Letter, symbolizing Hester and Dimmesdale’s guilt, as well as a character that made this novel appropriate for the romantic period. Hawthorne indeed achieved his goal using Pearl as the connection between Hester and Dimmesdale, analyzing her character as being both the “rose” and the scarlet letter.
Pearl symbolized as the second scarlet letter to Hester by a reminder to what she had done. However, Pearl was also a rose by letting Hester wear the scarlet letter, and being Hester’s only treasure. Pearl was her one and only reason to live. Hester without Pearl would have lived a completely different life; she would not have the scarlet letter on her, nor would have any humiliation, but most importantly, she probably would not have a reason to live without Pearl being her treasure.
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