advertisement
advertisement

The Declaration of Independence gave birth to what is known today as the United States of America. The document is symbolic of American democracy One of the more immediate effects felt by the Declaration of Independence was the Emancipation of black slaves. Some say that Abraham Lincoln interpreted the Declaration in his own way and understanding. Some say he was inspired to do so. Either way, it brought about the Emancipation Proclamation which gave black slaves their freedom. Abraham Lincoln certainly took literally the statement from the Declaration, “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”?

The Declaration, it seems, may have ignited the fire under which the Bill of Rights and the Constitution were written. The Declaration is in large part a summary of what the Bill of Rights stands for. The Bill of Rights in the United States is the name by which the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known. While the Declaration offered independence from Britain and made general statements, the Bill of Rights offers conclusive and specific rights and laws, from freedom of speech, press and religion, to the right to keep and bear arms; the freedom of assembly; the freedom to petition; prohibits unreasonable search and seizure; cruel and unusual punishment; and compelled self-incrimination. The first ten amendments are truly and expansion on what the first fifty six signers of the Declaration had written.

The Declaration of Independence has also left lasting effects upon other foreign nations, including the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, and the Declaration of Independence for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The French Declaration is one of the fundamental documents of the French Revolution and defines a set of individual and collective rights of all of the estates as one. The First article states, “men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinction may be founded only upon the general good.”? The principles in the French Declaration are still set forth today.

The Declaration of Independence has left its effects not just in the small and large details of the United States of America, but also in the details of other foreign countries.

Have you considered picking Huck Finn instead?? The river represents freedom, the towheads represent something to grab on to to pull you in and save you when your done with the freedom of the river and you want a taste of civilization, and trees on shore represent places for marginalized members of society to hide (like Jim).


advertisement

Blame may be something one person does to another, but it takes a consciousness of wrong doing to feel guilty. And Hester feels plenty guilty. Also guilty? Dimmesdale. The one person in this messy triangle who seems to escape the feeling of guilt is Chillingworth—but he gets plenty of blame. By the end of The Scarlet Letter, both Hester and Dimmesdale agree that Chillingworth is the real villain in this situation. And the only way to relieve your guilt? To confess. We're not positive, but we think that, when Chillingworth leaves his fortune to Pearl, he's doing just that: guilty as charged.

The Puritan use of public shaming and blame-placing backfires, pushing Hester and Dimmesdale to the margins of their community and making them contemplate even worse actions.

Guilt proves to be an effective emotion, because it pushes Hester into reforming herself and eventually being forgiven and respected by her community.

The most painful kind of judgment inflicted in this novel is self-judgment

Does God care about those laws? If you lived in Puritan America as represented by The Scarlet Letter, the answer would be yes: there's no difference between God's law and man's law. Breaking colonial law is the same as breaking God's law. On the one hand, great: at least there's clarity, right? On the other hand, the conflation of God's law with man's law creates an intolerant, authoritarian society with no room for human mistakes.

Everyday, Dimmesdale has to wake up and receive the adulation of his community for being basically a saint on earth. It's exhausting.

But seriously, Dimmesdale is living a lie—and that is exhausting. You have to be on your guard constantly, so no one finds out that you're lying about only liking Nickelback ironically. In The Scarlet Letter, hypocrisy is one of the worst sins that a man can commit. Just as adultery produces a physical mark on Hester's body (the baby), hypocrisy produces a physical mark on Dimmesdale's body. And only Pearl can see through him—so, when he finally confesses, she can love him for who he is: her father. In the end, our reputations are less important than our lives.

Hypocrisy is sometimes necessary. Dimmesdale destroys himself through hypocrisy, but his life is a blessing to many in the community.

Even though hypocrisy appears to save Dimmesdale from punishment and humiliation, his torment is worse even than Hester's.

according to the townspeople and magistrates of The Scarlet Letter. To them, sin is sin: it has to be punished publicly and harshly. But Dimmesdale offers us a hierarchy of sin—a crime of passion, like the one he and Hester committed, isn't nearly as bad as betraying the human heart by mercilessly plotting to destroy a man. That earns you a mark from the Black Man himself—without all the pretty embroidery.