Hester Prynne spends the length of the novel attempting to atone for her sin and shame, a feat that in turn subdues her vibrant personality. Hester, after being perpetually mocked and harassed for years by the whole of her community, strives to
Hester Prynne changed dramatically throughout the course of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter. Initially she was viewed as the antagonist and was a destructive character to those around her. After being confined in her cottage with Pearl, she began to develop a sense of who she needed to become in order to efficiently raise Pearl. Hester’s ability to do what was necessary for her improvement made her into a respectable role model for women to shadow. Hester chose to isolate she and Pearl to create a wave of self-improvement. Because of Hester’s mysterious, seductive, and rebellious actions, she demonstrated the characteristics of a byronic hero.
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. Her beauty is lost as “her rich and luxuriant hair had either been cut off, or was so completely hidden by a cap, that not a shining lock of it ever once gushed into the sunshine” (Hawthorne 515). Hester has stopped being a woman, which the narrator even confirms. She is able to reclaim her womanhood briefly when she takes off her cap and letter in an intimate moment with Arthur Dimmesdale. She is finally allowed to be beautiful since “the burden of shame and anguish [depart] from her spirit” (Hawthorne 536). However, when she has to put her hair back in the cap and fasten on the letter “her beauty, the warmth and richness of her womanhood, [depart], like fading sunshine; and a gray shadow seemed to fall across her” (Hawthorne 541). This is just another example of how women and their bodies are policed under this dichotomy. Yet men are free from the being either the Madonna or the whore because that separation is exclusive to women. Throughout the story, Hester’s torment is contrasted with the man whom Hester had an affair with, Arthur Dimmesdale. Despite Arthur revealing his part in their adultery, the townspeople do not condemn him. In the conclusion, the narrator reveals how the spectators refused to believe that Arthur’s “dying words, acknowledged, nor even remotely implied, any, the slightest connection on his part, with the guilt for which Hester Prynne had so lone worn the scarlet letter” (Hawthorne 566). Even the highly respectable witnesses
In the beginning, the husband was trying to calm her passion. “Drink it! It may be less soothing than a sinless conscience. That I cannot give thee. But it will calm the swell and heaving of thy passion, like oil thrown on the waves of a tempestuous sea.” (pg.62) His response to her disloyalty was that he believed it was partially his fault for thinking that a beautiful woman would love him for his intelligence and overlook his physical deformity. “What had I to do with youth and beauty like thine own! Misshapen from my birth-hour, how could I deformity in a young girl’s fantasy!” (pg.63) “Mine was the first wrong, when I betrayed thy budding youth into a false and unnatural relation with my decay.” (pg.63) His response was also to seek revenge on the man who wronged them both. “Think not that I shall interfere with Heaven’s own method of retribution,or, to my own loss, betray him to the gripe of human law. Neither do thou imagine that I shall contrive aught against his life, no, nor against his fame; if, as I judge, he be a man of fair repute. Let him live! Let him hide himself in outward honor, if he may! Not the less he shall be mine!” (pg.64) Hester’s own response back at Roger was that she never felt love for him and never pretended to. “Thou knowest that I was frank with them. I felt no love, nor feigned any.” (pg.63) Her response to him wanting revenge was that she was never going to tell
Henrik Ibsen’s 1890 play ‘Hedda Gabler’ is a tragic tale of a youthful woman’s struggle in finding her place in life. In his play Ibsen uses stage direction and dialogue to express tension with Hedda and Tesman’s marriage. Hedda is trapped in a life of loveless marriage, absolute boredom and a complete absence of friends. Through Ibsen’s dialogue and stage directions the audience is invited to observe the apathetic connection between Hedda and Tasman. Among the difficulties nullifying their relationship, social tension arises as Hedda idolises an upper-class, luxurious life style, but working-class Tasman can’t afford the regime is wife desires. Pressure derives from Hedda indoctrinating that she is a trapped woman and thus envies Brack and other males in the play. The inadequacy of Hedda’s love and affection for Tesman is shown through Hedda’s embarrassment behind bearing Tesman’s child, as well as the determination that intimacy between the couple to be scarce.
Hawthorne is in relation to the Puritan society through his ancestors in addition to a long line of judges preceding him; whom were known for cruel sentencing during the salem witch trials. 20 or more witches were convicted of a crime under the judgement of Hawthorne's grandfather. Considering the correlation between the Puritans and Hawthorne himself- being more open minded- many see why he chose to separate himself with them. (The Scarlet Letter) Among all the Hawthorns were known for judging people and deciding their fate, similar to the Puritan people. They felt very strongly about people getting what they so deserved in return of their sins. In The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne uses his background knowledge and familiarity with the Puritan
Hester Prynne is first introduced as a tall, dark haired woman with perfect elegance. Described as beautiful and ladylike, Hester appears more graceful than ever. I think Hester seems scared and apprehensive, but also willing to take responsibility for her actions and do anything necessary to protect her baby. The fact that Hester’s scarlet letter is so beautifully designed suggests that she accepts her consequences and this symbol as a part of herself and her new life moving forward. Hawthorne notes that Hester and her babe are similar due to the fact that they are both outcasts from society. In contrast, however, Hester has sinned and Pearl is pure, but now they are both paying the consequences of Hester’s adultery. Overall, the response
“A Doll’s House” is a play written by Henrik Ibsen, set in late nineteenth century where women were expected to uphold social norms of being a submissive wife and a caring mother. In the beginning of the play, Nora is initially portrayed as a naive and obedient “doll” trapped inside of a “Doll’s House”, but towards the end of the play, Nora is able to come to the realisation that she was never happy during her eight years of marriage with Torvald, leading to her leaving Torvald and breaking free from the “Doll’s House”. This essay will explore the different factors which allows Nora to see why she must break free.
In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, the three-act play, set in 19th century Norway, explores the progress of Nora’s marriage as she attempts to hide her debt and forgery from her husband. Ibsen conveyed social commentary on gender roles and societal expectations, a topic still in controversy, through the use of symbolism, irony, and dramatic elements. In A Doll’s House, Ibsen presents the problems associated with the position of women in a man’s world of business as his central focus, even if other social or individual problems become more prominent as the play progresses.
For instance, it is quite clear that Ibsen's decision to talk about the topic of money in this play is influenced by the societal norms or cultural expectations at the time where the society in Norway at around the nineteenth century had changed significantly in terms of its socio-economic ideologies and people had become obsessed with money where they would always take care of their financial health by trying to avoid debt by all means. This explains why the opening discussion in this play is about the topic of money and the story ends up with a divorce which has been occasioned by borrowed money by a wife in order to save her husband’s life. However, the most important aspect of the play is how Ibsen has demonstrated that women are willing to reject social conventions in order to safeguard their interest as was witnessed with Nora and Ms. Linde who are two women who have gone against social expectations in order to care for their families. For this reasons, Ibsen play is influenced by the social and cultural norms of the time where he seeks to show that a time had come to reject some of the conservative social conventions that
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. The hardships and punishments of both Hester and Dimmesdale, while difficult to endure at the time, were eventually beneficial and allowed them to free themselves from the Puritan community and escape their pain.
The play closes on a positive note with Nora, representative of the supressed female, overcoming Torvald, representative of the oppressive male, however to express the true extent of this achievement, Ibsen makes evident the context of the struggle that society dictated women live by. The progressive characterisation of the protagonist Nora encapsulates Ibsen’s intention of pushing theatrical and societal norms through showing how women deserve to create their own identity and not be restricted by their male oppressors. Ibsen crafted every line to show the development of her dialogue, actions, setting and properties, and in doing so he potently slammed the door on the patriarchal society of the 19th
This play, A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, focuses on women, especially in marriage and motherhood. Torvald is a character, who describes inequality between men and women and the women’s role in the society in that era. He believes that it is an important and the only duty of a woman to be a good wife and mother. As an individual, a woman, could not conduct or run a business of her own, she needs to ask her father or husband and they were only considered to be father’s or husband’s property. Women were not allowed to vote and divorce if they were allowed they would carry a heavy social shame and it was only available when both partners agreed.
In The Scarlet Letter, the author sets a mood from the beginning of the book. The setting is old and beat up in front of an aged wooden prison with judgmental Puritans ready to tear a women apart. The Puritans are hypocrites and the author portrays that in the story. Nathaniel Hawthorne did not always speak positively toward the Puritans, but he has respect for the group. The main symbol that stands out is the scarlet letter “A” that was stuck on Hester Prynne for her actions of adultery which is a theme for this book. Another symbol is the rose bush that grew right outside of the old, rusty, decaying prison
The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was published in 1850. It focuses on the life of the main protagonist, Hester Prynne, living in a Puritan community. Both Yamin Wang and Maria Stromberg offer insight into The Scarlet Letter and analyze multiple aspects of the story.. Both Wang and Stromberg claim that there is an underlying ideology hidden in the texts of the book. Wang approaches the story from a feminist approach and states that Hester represents the feminism in the Puritan community, and she analyzes the Puritan’s outlook on women in their society. Much like Wang believes there is an underlying feminism aspect to the story, Stromberg claims that the story has a hidden, social issue. Similarly, Stromberg also analyzes an