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. However, after reading Proverbs 31 and analyzing the novel, a conclusion can be determined that Hester Prynne does in fact have virtue.
Hester’s undeniable ability to overcome hardships is what keeps her stable throughout the events dramatized within the novel. When the author mentions, "[t]hey said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman's strength," he is allowing the reader to recognize Hester's ability to care for others while ,on the other hand, no one cares for her (Hawthorne 124). Her true ability to conquer troubles without any additional help made the people reconsider their views on Hester. She is belittled and neglected by the Puritan people, but her strength allows her to carry on. With her courage, Hester Prynne learns to accept that her sins are part of her. Although she has the chance to flee town without the wrath of what she has done, she chooses to stay because New England "had been the scene of her guilt, and here should be the scene of her earthly punishment; and so, perchance, the torture of her daily shame would at length purge her soul, and work out another purity than that which she had lost; more saint-like, because the result of martyrdom" (Hawthorne 61). She chose to accept her sins and try to be forgiven. Once her secret lover admits of his involvement in their adulterous actions, they decide to leave town. After trying to escape the misery brought upon her by the town, she realizes she is cannot run away from what she is and decides to return to Boston where her
Furthermore, The Scarlet Letter and 1984 both show the reader how an individual can use their personal, sometimes unfortunate, situation to their advantage thereby making both novels, that are set in different historical time periods, very similar.
The definition of integrity in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. A character with integrity is willing to sacrifice anything of sentimental or physical value, even their life or reputation, to defend the moral system they govern themselves by. It takes someone of strong character to possess integrity, because the temptation to give in is every so often immensely appealing. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is a character of such integrity, because she upholds her promise with Chillingworth and refuses to flee from the punishment of the scarlet letter “A”. (Hawthorne 55) On the other hand, Dimmesdale was a man of low integrity, because he would not confess the truth about
Because even her name conjures up many conflicting thoughts, the true nature of Hester Prynne from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is heavily debated among critics. Mark Van Doren and D.H. Lawrence both assert their conflicting perspectives with a multitude of convincing devices, but D.H. Lawrence more effectively portrays Hester Prynne as an enemy through the use of thought-provoking allusions, critical diction and repetition, and an unconventional syntax in his essay, On Hester Prynne.
The Puritan belief and lifestyle plays a major role in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter. The story takes place in Puritan New England, and opens with a scene presenting to the audience that a young woman named Hester Prynne has committed adultery. Wearing her punishment proudly, a scarlet letter “A” on her breast, Hester continues to live in New England where she raises her daughter and creates an embroidering business for herself. All the while, in the heart of the town, Hester’s lover and the child’s father, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale silently suffers and is ultimately overcome with guilt from his secret sin until the point of death. Throughout the story, references to witchcraft and a witch’s link to Satan is expressed. Several
Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter tells the story of the life of Hester Prynne an adulteress forced to wear a Scarlet “A” on her bosom by the sinister Puritan society to mark her shame. As her husband seeks revenge for the unidentified lover, Arthur Dimmesdale stays wracked with guilt. The Scarlet Letters symbolism and use of allusions, metaphors, setting, irony, diction, and varied tone helps to unwrap the characters throughout the novel. Hawthornes motives for writing the The Scarlet Letter was to show how women can be equally as strong and independent as men as men can also be morally weak. Hawthorne uses his abilities to weave tone, mood, and style all into one story questioning his purpose of this tragic tale of shame and redemption. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s purpose in writing the Scarlet Letter is to address the punishment Hester endures at the hands of the Puritan society and he utilizes the appeals of Pathos, Ethos, and writes with a moralizing tone in order to develop our feelings towards female strength and how one women could defy the society she lives in and live a life of punishment.
We are all sinners. Although one may try hard not to sin, all humans eventually succumb at some time or another to sin. While people may not able to avoid the fate which awaits them, the power of free will allows people to decide how they will respond to sin. While some may respond with guilt and regret, others may react with a sense of redemption and a renewed sense of responsibility.
Hawthorne first portrays Puritans as people who are remembered to be intolerant. In the Custom-House Introduction, the narrator described his ancestors as the perfect examples of a Puritan. Quakers, who held a different belief than Puritans, were heavily persecuted by one of the narrator’s ancestors, who the Quakers
Nineteenth century America saw the rise of the Cult of Domesticity, the middle class ideal of “true womanhood” characterized by emphasis on purity, piety, domesticity, and submissiveness. In setting a standard for female behavior, society also set a standard for masculine or “manly” behavior. The imposed definition of true womanhood and its subsequent rejection by feminist leaders aroused in Hawthorne an unease about his own gender and place in society. He saw a system which characterized his means of livelihood as “unmasculine” and aroused in him unease over some of his more “feminine” behaviors. Through a feminist lens, Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter attempts to convey that the imposition of strict gender roles on an individual
Is hypocrisy a bigger sin than adultery? Hester Prynne is accused of committing the ultimate sin, adultery, in The Scarlet Letter. Although Hester’s actions are wrong, her sin was judged more strictly than other’s. While Hester has committed an unthinkable deed, hypocrisy is the abysmal wrong doing here.
Voltaire once said, “It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” This quote explains how there are double standards in society. For example, people condemn murders, yet still go to war with other countries. There are a lot of double standards in society regarding women, men, and wealth. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s seminal novel The Scarlet Letter proves that society has double standards. These double standards are evident through Mistress Hibbons social rank, Hester’s place in society, and the town's reaction to Dimmesdale’s sin. One of the best examples of a double standard, is a person with a higher social rank is able to avoid the consequences of their sins.
Since the beginning of times society has been a place ruled by men. A world where women had always been looked as an inferior race despite the gender equality there should be. If a man cheats on a women, society will blame it on her, justifying the male gender actions. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne appoints the novel in Puritan, New England, a capricious, and strictly religious society. This story, is a perfect example of gender discrimination in which Hester Prynne is disgraced and judge for perpetrating adultery. The scarlet letter presents a gender discriminatory society in which women are portrayed as an creature guilty of every evil; where
From the early beginnings of the human race in which males became the dominant sex in providing for families through hunting, women had a degradation of their position in society. In turn, patriarchy is what would be used in societies throughout different historical phases.” Hawthorne- living in Salem, Boston and later Concord, Mass. - ‘was very, very aware of the growing feminist insurgence. Women’s rights were a part of the cultural conversation.’ ”(Barlowe) One can say that Nathaniel Hawthorne’s purpose for writing the Scarlet Letter was to portray the struggle that women have for submitting to what society demands, which took place in the past and still continued to his day, through Hester Prynne.
Hawthorne’s third person omniscient narration also supports him in his task of analyzing the individual in society by enabling him to look at Hester after her sin became public, while also giving him a wide enough scope to criticize elements of the Puritan society. In Hawthorne’s view, evidenced in this novel, the most damaging and powerful tool of social order that the highly religious Puritan society can inflict on the individual is a constant sense of guilt. The guilt and punishment that Hester Prynne’s society imposes on her for her sin is considered to be too much by Hawthorne, and his most emotional criticism of Hester’s over-reaching punishment is presented when Hester’s donations of high-quality clothes to the poor are rebuffed with