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            Nathaniel Hawthorne's literature can easily be used as a prime study for psychoanalysis. Freud's ideas and assumptions can be perfectly linked in a psychoanalysis of The Scarlet Letter. In fact, Freud himself has studied Hawthorne's characters in order to develop his postulations about the unconscious. His ideas about the id, the ego, and the superego are extremely significant when taking a look at characters in The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne displays the unending war between social expediency and moral righteousness in the mind of the main character, Hester. Regardless of Hester's conscious morality, she is playing out her subconscious desires, which is distinctly Freudian. Hawthorne and Freud ironically have harmonizing views on people's actions and state of mind. Freud's ideas suggest that people are ruled to a large degree by their subconscious. Nevertheless, people are judged by their actions and not by their subconscious yearnings and agendas. In result, Hester is branded as an adulteress for her actions, but unlike her weak lover, Dimmesdale, she took her ostracism very seriously and wore her 'A' proudly. In that way, she rebelled against the community and its unconscious neurotic values. Hawthorne uses Hester's character as a reflection of the subconscious urges of the community, while he uses Dimmesdale as a representative of the entire Puritan community. He effectively uses Hester as a study of morality with contrast to Dimmesdale as well. Hester's sin was born out of her love for Dimmesdale, the minister. Her superego, which is developed from surroundings and one's community, knew that adultery was wrong. However, she made a conscious choice based on her id, i.e. her sexual needs, and discovered that it conflicted with the superego of the community. Still, she did not capitulate to the community and wore her 'A' as a prize, rather than a shameful brand of her sin. Hester seems to be extremely clear headed in contrast to the rest of the community who are totally taken by the accusations of the girls and rumors of witchcraft.


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