Hester Prynne's Pride In The Scarlett Letter

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Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is a twisted romance based on the strong-willed Hester Prynne and her lover Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale; although she is continuously persecuted for her sinful love, Hester Prynne's pride would not let her perish (Stone 26). The Scarlet Letter was written by Hawthorne as a reflection of his Protestant background (Unger 224). The story is based around one of the biblical Ten Commandments: "Thou shall not commit adultery". Hester Prynne broke the commandment when she and Dimmesdale had a child out of wedlock; Hester was married to a man who had not been seen for years, therefore, she believed he was dead. The townspeople knew that Hester had not seen her husband, so when she became pregnant they knew that…show more content…
As she spent her final time on the scaffold Hester thought to herself "Could it be true?" Hester even wondered if being scorned by society was her new lifestyle (Hawthorne 63). After completing her time on the scaffold, Hester was escorted back to her prison cell. When she was back in her cell "Hester Prynne was found to be in a state of nervous excitement that demanded constant watchfulness", Hester was in such an estranged state that the jailer brought a physician in to examine her (Hawthorne 75). The physician brought to Hester was the man from the crowd, when he entered her cell, Hester immediately went still. The man introduced himself as Robert Chillingworth, yet Hester knew who he truly was (Hawthorne 76). The man was Hester's husband, and his appearance made her nervous. Hester admitted that she had wished for death at times because death would have been easier than living as an adulteress (Hawthorne 78). Chillingworth's appearance affected Hester's true character when her husband was around Hester was not prideful and strong because she felt as if she had wronged him. Yet Hester's true character was not completely demolished by her husband's presence for when he asked her lovers name she would not speak it; Hester's strength prevailed when protecting the identity of her lover. That night, in the prison, Hester vowed that she would keep Chillingworth's true identity a secret, but only to keep…show more content…
No longer was she the smiling and blushing woman on the scaffold, she turned into a woman whose guilt ate her alive. Hester felt as if "no fellow-mortal was guilty like herself" (Hawthorne 95). Hester claimed that if the sins of everyone in town were announced as hers there would be more people wearing scarlet letters (Hawthorne 94), perhaps the town would have an entire alphabet of scarlet letters (Dawson 1011). Hester's situation made her lonely, she felt as if no one truly understood where she stood. The only companion Hester had was her beloved daughter, however, Pearl was a constant reminder of Hester's sin (Dawson 1011). Hester even claimed that although Pearl was her happiness, she was also her torture (Hawthorne 122). Hester's solitude began to depress her more with each passing day; however, when she comes across her lover in a demented state, Hester realizes that, like herself, Dimmesdale is guilty too. Hester noted that Dimmesdale's "nerve[s] seemed absolutely destroyed" (Hawthorne 176). Hester's true character begins to reappear when she decided to help Dimmesdale (Hawthorne 176). Hester becomes determined to rescue her lover from his depression as the two and had an "iron link of mutual crime, which neither he nor she could break" (Hawthorne
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