The idea of such a perfect society holding its own secrets and bearing sin within each member of the Puritan community creates hypocrisy of the society and the guilt each person must face.
Guilt, a common feeling felt by everyone in the community, creates the thick aroma of irony.
Yet he uses his own experience to bear out the allegorical meaning of the work.
In describing his daily round he refers to the cemetery where his own Puritan ancestors are interred, and envisions them passing judgment on him: "A writer of story books!
"The Custom House," the introduction to "The Scarlet Letter," also provides Hawthorne with an opportunity for allegory.
Sources For Literature Review - Essay On Hypocrisy In The Scarlet Letter
This is a unique use of the concept, as "The Custom House" is at least partly autobiographical: Hawthorne was from Salem and did indeed work as the customs surveyor and inspector for the port in that town.
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Irony, the opposite of what is expected to happen, can be used to identify point of view and mood.
He becomes physically frail, and displays his internal turmoil by auspiciously placing his hand over his heart.
Hawthorne further establishes Dimmesdale’s character through the lens of hypocrisy, especially through the questions that his illegitimate daughter Pearl presents.