Mahatma Gandhi, a civil rights activist, once stated, “I do not seek redemption for the consequences of my sin. I seek to be redeemed from sin itself. Until I have attained that end, I shall be content to be relentless.” Gandhi, similarly to Hawthorne, believed that sin had to be penanced and redeemed in order to learn from a misdeed, and hopefully, not to be repeated. Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, clearly integrated his opinion on sin through his writing.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne explores recurring themes of suffering surrounding the main characters, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester and Dimmesdale both commit adultery with each other, and, as a result of this, both experience gruesome and occasionally unbearable forms of suffering. Though they undergo different forms of pain, both of their experiences are highly reliant on how the Puritan society treats them. Hester 's pain stems from the shame and estrangement she receives from the community, while Dimmesdale’s is due to the reverence with which the community regards him. Although, in spite of the fact that both Hester and Dimmesdale receive harsh penalty for their sin, by the end of the book, Hawthorne shows how their suffering is, in fact, the key to their salvation.
In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, most of the audience sees the main protagonist, Hester Prynne, as a symbol of early feminism. This novel takes place in a Puritan society, and their interpretation of the Bible is very strict. Along with their strict interpretation of the Bible, they have very stern norms on the roles of women, and during this time, women were still considered to be greatly inferior to men. Throughout the novel, the reader can see the way Hester is constantly judged for committing adultery, whereas the man she committed adultery with is not judged the same way; in fact, his identity is unknown at first. Hester Prynne is, in the words of John Updike, “is a mythic version of every woman’s attempt to integrate
The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a remarkable American novel. Hawthorne created this story to have many different characters. The main characters of this book are Hester Prynne, Pearl, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth. Most of these main characters evolved throughout the book, however, this is not true for all of them. Despite Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale evolving throughout The Scarlet Letter, the only character that did not change was Chillingworth, who was introduced as evil which eventually led to his demise.
Adultery is a sin. The Puritan society of 17th century Colonial America believed that it was a sin grave enough to be punished by death. However, Hawthorne argues otherwise. He tries to convince his readers that adultery is more than a simple sin that has to be shown contempt. He argues that the adulterous relationship between Dimmesdale and Hester was a crime of passion and love, not lust and disloyalty.
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.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is punished for committing the crime of adultery. Hester must wear the letter "A" upon her bosom to represent the adultery she has committed with Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. It is argued whether Hester is the culprit of her crime or if she has fallen victim of it. Early on in Hester 's life she becomes a victim when she is forced into an arranged marriage. Her parents arrange her to marry Roger Chillingworth, a wealthy yet infamous man.
Guilt vs. Judgment in The Scarlet Letter In The Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne is judged by everyone in 17-century Boston, where everyone knows the crime that she has committed with her paramour Arthur Dimmesdale, who also is the town's Reverend. The townspeople are very harsh in their personal opinions of Hester. Some even go as far as to say that she should be branded by “the flesh of her forehead.” (Hawthorne 59)
Janie Crawford is the main character of Their Eyes Were Were Watching God. Their Eyes Were Were Watching God is set in the early 20th century in Southern Florida. Janie being a Half Black woman experiences colorism, racism, and misogyny. These social disadvantages lead to Janie facing adversity and discrimination throughout the book. Similarly, in The Scarlet Letter, the main character Hester Prynne is an adulterer in a Puritan society that outcasts her after she was driven into another mans arms by her neglectful husband.
The opening scene, in which Hester stands on the scaffold and defiantly refuses to name her lover, signals a complex swerve of high or elite literature from the popular pressure toward legibility (5). The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne follows the lifestyle of Puritans in early America in many ways. One of the ways Hawthorne explores their lives is how they are punished for their sins over several contexts, such as family, the church, and state. There is the world of the Puritans, who recognize no distinction between the public and the private and who assume that all should be bared before the multitude; and there is the consciousness of the three central characters, who wrap themselves in secrecy (5). The punishments for sin of men and women, however, fluctuate over the course of the story.