Hester Prynne In Scarlet Letter

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Hester, having lived among a Puritan doctrine for so long, cannot help but be influenced by it, and although she did what she did out of love, she does see her act as a sin. She is self-aware, penitent and rather dutiful to the puritan society and she bears her punishment according to the dogma humbly. For the seven solitary years, it is told that “Hester never battled the public, but submitted; uncomplainingly ...she never raised her head to receive their greeting. If they were resolute to accost her, she laid her finger on the scarlet letter, and pass on” (Hawthorne 92). Yet, she never succumbs to the community’s thoughts about her. She feels guilty for her action, but she is not ashamed of her own person or self. In his book, The Cycle of…show more content…
She works so diligently and is so kind to others that people begin to reinterpret the scarlet letter. They note that Hester is very capable, and that there is clearly goodness in her – the kind of goodness that always protects and helps people in difficult times: “The letter was the symbol of her calling. Such helpfulness was found in her, —so much power to do, and power to sympathize, —that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman 's strength” (Hawthorne 242). Hester believes herself capable of meeting the challenges that confront her. During her period of life on the margins of the community, Hester appears as an obedient and meek woman, one who has accepted the punishment meted out to her and who will make no demands upon the community. Hester is not resentful like Abigail. She acts charitably toward those around her, even when they scorn her. Even though she does want to leave town with Dimmesdale at one point, she realizes that doing so would be an act of running away from the truth. The different attitudes of the two women are clear in this…show more content…
Yet, their different reactions to similar circumstances illustrate the different purposes for the two works. Every one of us is inclined to sin, but it is how we treat our sins that define our character. As a result of her repentance, charitable deeds and enriched life after her confession, the people of the town no longer judge Hester so harshly. The scarlet letter no longer serves only to remind the public of her private sin, but shows the dignity she possessed. The society begins to see Hester for who she really is, and she becomes an asset to the community. Abigail, on the other hand, drinks as much poison as she feeds the town, ultimately becoming selfish and cold-blooded because of her envy, and hunger for power, and losing her sense of
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