AP English Language and Composition Scarlet Letter Essay - AP English The Greatest Human Obstacle Human emotions have immense power They are able to

AP English Language and Composition Scarlet Letter Essay -...

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AP EnglishThe Greatest Human ObstacleHuman emotions have immense power. They are able to drive people to extremes and areresponsible for almost every one of our decisions. Guilt and obsession are two of the most formidable of these feelings, and many authors throughout time have used them as the foundation of their stories. Macbeth’s guilt drives him to insanity in Shakespeare’s 15thcentury tragedy, while Sethe’s guilt haunts her in the form of her murdered child in Toni Morrison’s 1987 Beloved. Briony’s obsession with atoning for her dishonesty, driven by her guilt, leads her to create a false reality in Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel, Atonement.Nathaniel Hawthorne’s psychological novel from 1850, The Scarlet Letter, leads two characters into this same cycle of extremes. Guilt drives Reverend Dimmesdale to self-hatred and torment, while obsession brings out the inner devil in Roger Chillingworth. Emotions monopolize the lives of the two characters. They are unable to escape from the tight grasps of their inner consciousness, therefore they lose their previous selves to new creations of character. Dimmesdale’s guilt overpowers all other feelings and leaves him in a
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