The Virtue of Hester Prynne In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s highly acclaimed novel, The Scarlet Letter, a Puritan town’s reaction is described after Hester Prynne raises a scandal that goes against the town’s religious views. The Puritans believe the Bible should be translated into their life and that God should be the center of it. Many of them think of Hester as a sinful woman without virtue. They treat her as an outcast and consider that she is somehow affiliated with the Devil.
For as long as humans have existed, they have had struggles with happiness. The Scarlet Letter outlines one common human struggle with happiness. This passage from the Scarlet Letter takes place in the forest after Hester has gone to tell Dimmesdale, her former lover, about Chillingworth, her ex-husband.
The Infamous “A” Committing sin is an inevitable condition of human life. Forgiving a sin is not always easy; neither is forgetting. A reputation could be destroyed with one sin. It is troublesome enough to forgive one’s wrong and move on, but what about peers?
Many readers notice Hester’s surprising reaction to the life she has come to face and the punishments placed upon her. The audience is able to determine that Hester has come to terms with her punishments beginning to accept them. However the narrator clearly establishes that many of the people closest to Hester were the ones inflicting the most guilt onto Hester’s life. Pearl the product of her sin and Roger Chillingworth the man she cheated on both impact Hester’s life the most. Imposing an immense amount of pain and guilt in Hester’s life in similar ways due to the fact that they are a constant reminder of the mistakes Hester has made.
The author of The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, uses the sacrifices of Hester Prynne in order to demonstrate her values as well as give the reader a deeper understanding of the novel overall. Hawthorne shows Hester’s sacrifices which leads to how she is able to fortify her desires, this in turn allows Hawthorne to point out the main themes of the novel. Hester not only accepts and deals with the punishments of her sins for herself, but also for the people she loves. This makes it able so Hester is able to solidify her relationships with the people she loves and cares about. As a result of Hester’s independence and respect for the people she loves, Hawthorne is able to demonstrate how she is actually the angel in a city of sinners.
Fault, Youth, and Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter The majority of society bases their perception of an individual on wealth, appearance, name, family--an infinite number of things. What if one was told that his or her own brother, sister, best friend, or even their mom or dad was a murderer? How would he or she react? What would they do?
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter, the protagonist, Hester Prynne is a Romantic Hero. Throughout The Scarlet Letter, we see Hester Prynne’s struggle in Colonial America after she is condemned by the Puritan society. She is sent to America by her husband, but he never returns, and Hester later conceives a child with the local minister. She is convicted with the crime of adultery, but refuses to identify the father, she is then forced to wear the Scarlet Letter. The novel captures her experience as she struggles to survive the guilt, sin, and revenge.
The book was written during the time when feminist rights and values were not established and considered in the society. Hawthorne’s novel about a female demonstrating feminism culture and importance in the society tries to highlight the equality and justice that much exist in a society. In this story, we get an exclusive view of a women, love, and sin. Unlike those women of the Puritan community, Hester follows her desires even against the strict Puritan values and norms. We get to see a completely different image of women in the society through Hester and how bravely she takes her decisions.
Guilt is in everyone. Guilt is often to be seen within everybody, for it is a force that does not fail to capture even the mightiest of people. Guilt behaves as a reminder to let one know privately that he/she has committed a bad deed, after awhile people begin to give in and confess. However, there are those who refuse to accept the actions they have previously taken and hide it. Similarly, the act of act of concealed guilt apparent in the supposed antagonist, Roger Chillingworth, of The Scarlet Letter.
Feminist Adrienne Rich argues in her essay, “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision,” that there are drastic differences between the established gender roles in society. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hester, an adulteress and martyr, suffers from the strict grasp of Puritanism and patriarchy. Throughout the novel, Hester is a luxury to men, especially the revered minister and secret sinner, Dimmesdale, as well as her husband, Chillingworth. However, the rest of this male-dominated, Puritan society, or the world as she perceives it, is not a luxury for Hester, but a necessity. Thus, the relationship between Hester and the men in her society demonstrates and proves Rich’s argument regarding the distinctions between gender roles.