The novels, “The Scarlet Letter, “Othello”, and “Snow Falling on Cedars” all have a common theme. All three examine the impact the lies can have on one’s life. In “The Scarlet Letter”, Hester, the main character, endures imprisonment and a public shaming for her crime of adultery. She also must take her baby with her to jail. The Reverend Dimmesdale insists that she reveals the name of the father, when she refuses she is sent back to jail (Hawthorne, 1986).After three years she is let out of prison, but is forced to live on the outskirts of Boston in the woods. Hester’s estranged husband, Chillingworth hears of Hester’s crime and poses as a doctor to speak to her while imprisoned. Even though he has no medical expertise, Chillingsworth continues to work as a doctor, eventually treating Dimmsdale, in which he learns that he was Ester’s lover. He treats Dimmsdale especially cruelly as a result. Even though Dimmsdale was her love, he received no punishment. This caused him great guilt to the point where his shame leads him to carve an A on his own chest and profess his sin to the public. This shows a double standard in Puritan society. By lying about the father of the child, Ester was doomed to a life of punishment while Dimmsdale received no repercussions.
In “Othello”, Othello, married to Desdemona, holds a place of honor as a general. Iago, one of Othello’s soldiers becomes angry that Othello has passed him up for promotion and develops a complex plan to ruin Othello by starting rumors about Desdemona. He plans to tell Othello that Cassio slept with Desdemona, thus causing trouble between the two men to benefit Iago. Othello was too obsessed with his passion and jealousy spurned by Desdemona to think clearly about his actions. He made very foolish choices by deciding to not believe his wife over someone who didn’t have his best interests in mind, ultimately killing her. The killing of Desdemona can be interpreted as Othello’s attempt to save her from sin, but in truth murder is murder. The moral being that lies can devastate lives.
In the novel, “Snow Falling on Cedars”, the theme of jealousy and lies continue. Kabuo is accused of murdering Carl for racial biases. Ishmael, who covets Kabuo’s wife, plots to gain her for his own. Due to his obsession with her he lies about what he knows about Carl’s death. In the end, however, he eventually comes clean and clears Kabuo’s name. Overall, the themes of jealousy, revenge, and lies are prevalent in all three of these novel. These three novels are examples of how lies can affect lives and serves as a warning to the reader.