Hester Prynne's Transformation In The Scarlet Letter

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Juliette Dougherty ELA 12/Sec. 08 Ms. Diamond 31 March, 2018 Hester Prynne's transformation throughout The Scarlet Letter Justine Sacco sent out one tweet, and that was all it took to ruin her life. From the time she sent the tweet, to the time she stepped off the plane in Africa her entire life had changed. The entire world's eyes were on her, and they were intent on ruining her life. She lost her job, her face was plastered all over the media as a racist, and she was receiving death threats. All of this because of one tweet. Hester Prynne made one mistake, and it would change her life forever. The Puritan society was a theocracy. They believed they had the right to judge and punish people as they saw fit, and so they did. Hester was banished,…show more content…
What the Puritans did not see coming was that, like Justine Sacco, Hester would not let this shame ruin her life. She would not let the judgement of others define who she is, and who she was going to be. She transforms her life, refusing to let her mistake define her. Throughout The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne's uses the shame she receives as her motivation to transform herself from an adulterer, to an angel, to able. Hester has committed a sin that required two people, yet she bears the burden of shame alone. Hester soley takes the blame from her mistake, refusing to give up the name of the man she had an affair with. She accepts the endless amount of shame the village throws at her. As she walks out of the prison cradling her daughter, Pearl, the townspeople watch her in contempt. They whisper and glare as she walks up to the podium where she will face the public shaming or consequences of her sin, “It was, in short, the platform of the pillory; and above it rose the framework of that instrument of discipline, so fashioned as to confine the human head in its tight grasp, and thus hold it in the public graze”…show more content…
Although it takes some time, Hester grows to realize this. She acknowledges that in order to find the light, or the goodness in herself again, she must accept the punishments that she is given. This means Hester must learn to live with them, and still continue her life. In The Scarlet Letter light is used to represent salvation and purity, which is what Hester strives to reach. One day in the forest it seems as if she has given up, and plans to run away. She throws her scarlet ‘A’ into the river, and Hester feels as though she can finally be happy, “ All at once, as with a sudden smile of heaven, forth burst the sunshine, pouring a very flood into the obscure forest, gladdening each green leaf, and gleaming adown the gray trunks of solemn trees” (Hawthorne, 199). This supernatural occurrence appears after Hester throws off her scarlet ‘A’. She throws away her guilt, and the burden of her shame. Once her body was free from the anguish the sunlight came to her, showing her redemption. After Pearl forces Hester to put the ‘A’ back on, and the sunshine disappears Hester realizes she must bear the burden of her shame to before she can fully reach redemption. Hester seeks redemption through her charity. She begins sewing for the community, living in exile, and raising Pearl. She repents for her sins through her selfless acts of helping the less fortunate.
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