The choice of whether to conform to society's demands or to comply with personal impulses is a difficult one. This is an idea that Nathaniel Hawthorne explores extensively in The Scarlet Letter. This theme of conformity and individuality is manifested mainly through the character of Hester Prynne; a woman who committed adultery in an idealistic Puritan town with "a people amongst whom religion and law [are] almost identical" (35). Hester Prynne struggles between the “iron framework” of Puritan ideas and her “freedom of speculation” constantly throughout the novel. As the story develops, however, it is evident to the reader that Hester is an individual—not a product of her town. Towards the end of the novel, Hester’s “freedom of speculation”
Even though the Puritans may have designated the letter as a representation of sin, Hester’s renewed sense of pride does not want society to define the A for her. Rather Hester wants to define it herself and by doing so she develops responsibility and power over her own actions. Because Hester has the power to change who she is, she also has the power to change what the Scarlet Letter represents. By letting the letter be “embroidered with gold thread” readers are able to see how for Hester sin is not something to be fearful of; furthermore, it allows one to see how Hester has developed into an independent individual who accepts who she is and the situation she is presented with. Hester’s lover unfortunately
She receives three punishments from the townspeople, who claim they will free her from her sin. The community orders Hester to go to jail, wear a scarlet letter on her chest, and stand on the town scaffold for hours. Hester wears her scarlet letter proudly on her chest, and endures much suffering because of her public ridicule. Hester is “kept by no restrictive clause of her condemnation within the limits of the Puritan settlement” after she was released from prison, but she chooses to stay (Hawthorne 71). Later, Hester’s child, Pearl, symbolizes the Puritan view of Hester.
Throughout the beginning of The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is publicly insulted and shamed as a result of her punishment for breaking the Puritan faith by committing adultery. She is then forced into standing in front of the whole town for hours as the crowd is breaking her down with hateful and abusive language. After, she had been released, "the scene was not without a mixture of awe, such as much always invest the spectacle of guilt and shame of a fellow creature" (Hawthorne 63). They almost had satisfaction in her punishment, having the perception that they had cleansed the town, and therefore only leaving a pure society. The society had thought that if they treated her so horribly no individual would attempt in committing acts that
Morality in The Scarlet Letter In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne commits what is deemed an immoral act in Puritan society. She perpetrates adultery and the people of the town condemn her for this. This is undoubtedly a sin, blackening a supposedly pure town; however, the Puritans lack of forgiveness attributes to staining the society even more so. The Puritans prove to be the most unethical since they punish Hester, try to take her child and attempt to shun her.
Hester is accused of adultery, and is forced by the city magistrates to wear a scarlet letter A on her chest for the rest of her life. She is forced to wear the mark, living with the “pang of it … always in her heart.” (78) Although she initially tries to degrade the negative connotation of the scarlet letter by decorating it and covering it up, she grows to accept “the scarlet letter flaming on her breast” (118), and the letter only increases her strength. The letter, although not a physical punishment, affects her more on a social and emotional level, isolating her from society and drawing ridicule from townsfolk. Her isolation leads her to connect with only a limited few, including Mistress Hibbins, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth.
A Role Model that Transcends Time Hester Prynne changed dramatically throughout the course of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter. Initially she was viewed as the antagonist and was a destructive character to those around her. After being confined in her cottage with Pearl, she began to develop a sense of who she needed to become in order to efficiently raise Pearl. Hester’s ability to do what was necessary for her improvement made her into a respectable role model for women to shadow. Hester chose to isolate she and Pearl to create a wave of self-improvement. Because of Hester’s mysterious, seductive, and rebellious actions, she demonstrated the characteristics of a byronic hero.
“-was that SCARLET LETTER, so fantastically embroidered and illuminate upon her bosom. It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and enclosing her in a sphere by herself.” (Hawthorne 51). This means that Hester’s Scarlet Letter is made beautifully but it makes her isolated from the townspeople. She is so guilty from her sin and judged from the people of the
In the “Scarlet Letter,” Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays hypocrisy of the Puritan society, where the protagonist Hester Prynne face many consequences of her actions and the how she tries to redeem herself to the society. During the seventeenth puritans believe that it is their mission to punish the ones who do not follow God’s word and it is their job to stop those from sinning. Therefore, the hypercritical puritan society punishes Hester harshly for committing adultery, but in Hester’s mind, she believes that what she did was not a sin but acts of love for her man. Eventually, she redeems herself by turning her crime into an advantage to help those in need, yet the Puritan society still view her as a “naughty bagger.” (Hawthorne 78)
What is justice to you? Well justice is different for everyone because we have all had different life experiences. In the scarlet letter, by nathaniel hawthorne, a woman named hester prim is punished for having a chilled out for welock. As her punishment she is forced to wear a scarlet A upon her clothing, with this mark she will become out cast and ridiculed by the town. Hester accepts the letter at first because it is the regulated punishment decided by the society and what they see as a just punishment. But then as the story progress she realizes that the same duration of the punishment isn 't always the best for the situation. But then by the end of the story she comes to the realization that the punishment doesn 't define her.
"Easy A" is a movie that is loosely based on Hawthorne's novel, "The Scarlet Letter". In this movie, Olive can be compared in a way to Hester Prynne. Although they both have different roles in their society and being in different time periods. They always have one thing in common, the similarity is that they both wear a red "A" on their clothing. In the Scarlet Letter and Easy A, they both have many differences but one constant similarity.
In both the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and the film Easy A there is a presentation of a very real and often much thought of theme. That theme being hypocrisy and the existence of double standards which almost go hand in hand. Despite Olive and Hester going through two completely different situations in two very different time periods, their suffering is generally the same. Neither one has committed a sin that is unique to them, others have committed the same sin, yet these two women are seemingly the only ones ostracized for it.
The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was published in 1850. It focuses on the life of the main protagonist, Hester Prynne, living in a Puritan community. Both Yamin Wang and Maria Stromberg offer insight into The Scarlet Letter and analyze multiple aspects of the story.. Both Wang and Stromberg claim that there is an underlying ideology hidden in the texts of the book. Wang approaches the story from a feminist approach and states that Hester represents the feminism in the Puritan community, and she analyzes the Puritan’s outlook on women in their society.
She realized that everyone will eventually find out about the sin, so she became courageous and took responsibility for her action. After she had completed her punishment in prison, she moved to a cottage. Hester was guilty for what she had done, but she started to help the poor, even though they rejected her. The guilt deprived her from all the “joys [of life] [because] she rejected it as sin” (Hawthorne 130) Hester ceased enjoying anything that a normal person would think as amusing because it was wrong for her since she became the outcast of the town.