Much like Miller's example of parents disowning their child, the town disowned Hester Prynne after her sin became publicly known. Not only did they disown her, they constantly gossiped about her. For example, on page 54, a woman said, "This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die." The townspeople discussed how Prynne should have a harsher punishment, such as physical pain or even death. Before Hester's sin became a public one, she was not particularly popular, but she was not hated. This change of emotions and thoughts of Hester Prynne
First, there were the characters that helped to connect the theme sin, crime, and punishment. The story shows Hester as a unaffected attitude, but is willing to fight for what she believes which characterizes her personality. When Hester was standing on the scaffold with her “A” on her chest, she was unaffected by what people were saying to her. From the book “God gave her into my keeping,” repeated Hester Prynne, raising her voice almost to a shriek. “I will not give her up!”—And here, by sudden impulse, she turned to the
Author Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter with a handful of characters and symbolic objects that truly influence the theme of this novel. Many important pairings and triads are involved through Chapter 8 of his novel, but perhaps the most important of the inventory of well connected triads is the one which relates to the theme of the novel. The triad of Hester Prynne, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and Pearl best helps the reader comprehend Hawthorne’s theme of sin.
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
Throughout the beginning of The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is publicly insulted and shamed as a result of her punishment for breaking the Puritan faith by committing adultery. She is then forced into standing in front of the whole town for hours as the crowd is breaking her down with hateful and abusive language. After, she had been released, "the scene was not without a mixture of awe, such as much always invest the spectacle of guilt and shame of a fellow creature" (Hawthorne 63). They almost had satisfaction in her punishment, having the perception that they had cleansed the town, and therefore only leaving a pure society. The society had thought that if they treated her so horribly no individual would attempt in committing acts that
In The Scarlet Letter, Hester uses her infamy as a way to change the Puritans’ mindset about those who have sinned. Throughout the novel, the Puritans of Boston treat Hester poorly due to the fact that she is a well-known adulteress. Despite her poor treatment, Hester does not allow the Puritans to control her life; in point of fact, she decides to interact with the Puritans through acts of charity so that she can eliminate the stigma associated with the scarlet letter. Originally, Hester never sinned so that she could go against god’s words. She sinned because she felt lonely, and she longed for someone who would love her and take care of her. Due to this, Hester feels as though her punishment isn’t rightful as she never tried to corrupt society or hurt others with her sin. In order to show the Puritans that one should be forgiven for their sins if they were a pious person before committing them, Hester tries her best to show that she is still a good person. Even when the poor citizens of Boston reject her aid, Hester still provides the unfortunate with clothing and food. Even when the people, for whom she sews clothing for, slyly and directly insult her, Hester “... had schooled herself long and well” so that she “never responds to [their] attacks” (Hawthorne, 127). As a result of her persistent efforts and her resolve to help
Hester and her daughter, Pearl, were constantly ridiculed by the inhabitants of the town, and many citizens believed that Hester deserved a harsher penalty for her actions. One woman mocked Hester while gossiping with her peers when she declared, “‘This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die’” (36). Agreeing with this claim, many of the villagers continued to mock and scrutinize not only Hester’s actions, but Hester herself. Another woman suggested that “‘a brand of hot iron [should have been put] on Hester Prynne’s forehead’” (36). While this sentence seems less harsh than death, this woman’s comment proves that she too believed that Hester deserved a severe punishment for her despicable sin. Considering the townspeople’s reactions toward Hester’s sin of adultery, it can be concluded that in the Puritan era, religion was of utmost importance, and the Puritans met sins with extremely harsh punishments. Because the majority of the Puritan town viewed Hester as a disgrace, she became “Lonely . . . and without a friend on earth” (56). This made it effortless for the inhabitants of the town to continue to insult and degrade Hester because they did not care to learn her true personality. While a few civilians had sympathy for Hester, the town mostly regarded her as shameful and
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.
She is an outcast forced to live on the outskirts of the town. She is an independent woman who cares for her daughter Pearl alone. Hester is a round and complex character whose change throughout the story is well discussed by the narrator. She starts out as an outcast struggling to live with her daughter. She is bitter towards the town that shamed and ostracized her. She also feels a great burden from the scarlet letter she is forced to wear, yet she is too proud to let others know. As the story progresses, she becomes stronger and more compassionate; she eventually redeems herself. She learns to view herself in a more modest manner. Hester’s main conflict is external. She had an affair and was accused of committing adultery by the town. She struggles to live with herself and does not know what her true identity is. “But in lapse of the toilsome, thoughtful and self-devoted years that made up Hester's life, the scarlet letter ceased to be a stigma which attracted the worlds scorn and bitterness, and became a type of something to be sorrowed over, and looked upon with awe, yet with reverence too (Hawthorne 225).” At the end of the novel, Hester finally learns to accept herself for what she really is. She no longer views the scarlet letter as a burden of shame. Instead she feels empowered by it as it gave her the experiences she needed to grow and become a better person. Hester Prynne was faced
In the “Scarlet Letter,” Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays hypocrisy of the Puritan society, where the protagonist Hester Prynne face many consequences of her actions and the how she tries to redeem herself to the society. During the seventeenth puritans believe that it is their mission to punish the ones who do not follow God’s word and it is their job to stop those from sinning. Therefore, the hypercritical puritan society punishes Hester harshly for committing adultery, but in Hester’s mind, she believes that what she did was not a sin but acts of love for her man. Eventually, she redeems herself by turning her crime into an advantage to help those in need, yet the Puritan society still view her as a “naughty bagger.” (Hawthorne 78)
Hester Prynne screams out, heart and soul, american spirit. She is relatable, extremely human, and most of all, flawed. Her life is plain and average, and her personality is the exact opposite of flashy. Though she cannot represent every single struggle that Americans must deal with, her very situation is not as important as the ways in which she chooses to handle it. Hester Prynne is merely a vessel for any American situation; any struggle or hardship could be substituted in for her sin of
One of the main reasons why Hester Prynne is an important and progressive feminist character in The Scarlet Letter is her refusal to follow societal norms or to be put down by her peers. A primary example of her refusal to be put down by her peers is when Hester brandishes her
"Easy A" is a movie that is loosely based on Hawthorne's novel, "The Scarlet Letter". In this movie, Olive can be compared in a way to Hester Prynne. Although they both have different roles in their society and being in different time periods. They always have one thing in common, the similarity is that they both wear a red "A" on their clothing. In the Scarlet Letter and Easy A, they both have many differences but one constant similarity.
Hester Prynne was an example of sin, guilt, and redemption. Hawthorne uses bible passages as examples. The consequences for our sins are determined by God and where we will go. Hester’s punishment is wearing the letter, ‘A’ on her breast. "God, as a direct consequence of the sin which man thus punished, had given her a lovely child, whose place was on that same dishonoured bosom, to connect her parent for ever with the race and descent of mortals, and to be finally a blessed soul in heaven!"- (pg 55). Hester freed herself from sin by removing The Scarlet Letter and realizing she loves Dimmesdale, with this she asks for his forgiveness and confesses. “Let God punish! Thou shalt forgive!”(pg.118) Hester did a good deed when she kept Dimmesdale’s identity a secret. “I deem it not likely that he will betray the secret.He will doubtless seek