“The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him”, Daniel 9:9. In the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays Hester Prynne as a kind, strong, and humble character. Although as Hester sins, this does not define her as a person or take away from her value as a person. Hester is a humble person throughout the entire book because she is always caring nice and honest. As Hester is appointed for adultery and admits to it, she is completely honest and doesn’t lie and straight forward with the townspeople.
Hawthorne was able to depict every character differently which allowed them to stand out at different levels. Hawthorne is able to emphasize Hester Prynne’s characteristic the strongest which allows for her to be showcased as a stronger character. Hawthorne characterizes Hester Prynne as desperate using pathos and strong. To commence, Hawthorne showcases Hester Prynne to be desperate. Hawthorne is able to make Hester seem desperate because the judge is in a position where he could separate Hester from Pearl.
Previously to this passage, the sunlight would not shine on Hester when Hester was wearing the Scarlet Letter. As soon as Hester takes off the scarlet letter, a symbol of the Puritan community, her hair is described as “with at once a shadow and a light in its abundance”(186). The light is reclaiming Hester now that she has truly separated from the Puritan community. The last time that the sunlight claimed Hester in this way was when she was on the scaffold and separate from the Puritan community, however, she was not happy then. In the passage, Hester is described with words associated with light, such as “beamed”, “radiant”, and “glowing”(186).
She cannot be defined by just one label, but both. She is a mother to Pearl, who is a child born from adultery. She is a caregiver, seamstress, a lover, and a counselor, but the Puritanical society Hester lives in constantly reminds her that she is just a whore. By subscribing to this label, Hester loses her identity in a way. The effect of being an outsider due to the letter causes her to become a shell of her former self.
Thus, unlike the characters around her, such as the sneaky minister or the greedy lovers, Hester is the one character who lives by reality instead of appearance. The best example of this is her lifestyle before and after she is shunned. Before her exile, Hester recognizes the unjust nature of the laws around her. She refuses to follow them and present a façade of perfection and happiness. When Dimmesdale demands that she name her baby’s father and promises that her sentence will be lightened as a reward, Hester steadfastly refuses (Hawthorne, 1850).
Hester has strong belief that her husband has deceased while away, she begins a relationship with Dimmesdale and falls in love with him, thinking that her husband is dead she allows herself to fall more for him during
We get to see a completely different image of women in the society through Hester and how bravely she takes her decisions. Hester Prynne was married to Scholar who was much older than her, who was slightly deformed, having a left shoulder higher than his right whom she never loved and she was sent to America to live and wait for him. While waiting for Chillingworth, Hester falls in love with Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, a clergyman of the Puritan community. Dimmesdale earns great respect and fame as a priest from the community through his sermons which are a masterpiece of expression and influence but later he was discovered to be a real father a child and most importantly a sinner. Hester Prynne is shown as courageous and strong women than the man of the time.
By accepting her mistake and not circumventing or avoiding her consequences, Hester Prynne modified the demeaning definition of her scarlet letter “A.” Hester Prynne proved her ability to take the ramifications that followed her and accept her fate frequently throughout the novel. Although Hester Prynne confronted ridicule from her surrounding neighbors, Hester showed her ability to accept her situation when she showed “[no] irritation nor irksomeness” (Hawthorne 179) towards the
Following Hester’s punishment at the stands, Hawthorne wrote, “Every gesture, every word, and often expressed, that she was banished, and as much alone as if she inhabited another sphere” (58). Despite these social ramifications, Hester sought to become a better person. Eight years after receiving the scarlet letter, the townspeople perceived Hester differently. Because of Hester’s desire to help the community, the town now views her as a force for good. Hawthorne explained that, “[The town] said that [the scarlet letter] meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne” (111).
Hester Prynne is the beautiful protagonist; she is married to Roger Chillingworth, an elderly scholar. Hester sailed to the colonies while Chillingworth was stayed in England to continue studying. While living alone, Hester had an affair with Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and as a result Pearl was born. The entire colony knows of the sin that Hester committed but do not know that Dimmesdale is involved. Hester is publicly humiliated alone on the scaffold as punishment and is treated very poorly.