Hester's punishment was a judicial sentence; however, being forced to stand on the scaffold for three hours, and to wear the scarlet letter "A" for the rest of her life. It was socially humiliating. Hester was sent to prison for committing adultery. Hester was forced to live with the consequences by wearing the scarlet letter "A". Hester is physically and emotionally reminded of her sin, while wearing the scarlet letter "A". Wherever Hester goes, people will know who she is, and what she had done. Hester's punishment was unjust because Hester was sent to prison for committing adultery. Hester was sentenced to wear the scarlet letter "A" for the rest of her life and Hester was forced to stand on the scaffold, so she could be publicly humiliated for her sin. Although, …show more content…
In the Puritan society, adultery wasn't tolerable. As mentioned in paragraph 13 of chapter 3, " '… … they have doomed Mistress Prynne to stand only a space of three hours on the platform of the pillory, and then and thereafter, for remainder of her natural life, to wear a mark of shame upon her bosom." (Hawthorne 61) Everyone of the townspeople watched Hester and her daughter Pearl, stand on the scaffold for three hours. This punishment was unfair. Hester didn't deserve to be publicly humiliated. Hester already has a lot to deal with. Hester didn't like being shamed. In conclusion, Hester's punishment was unjust because Hester was sent to prison for committing adultery. Hester was sentenced to wear the scarlet letter "A" for the rest of her life and Hester was forced to stand on the scaffold, so she could be publicly humiliated for her sin. Hester and Pearl will go through life, being shamed by others. The townspeople want to see Hester suffer. Hester and Pearl are strong enough to receive the looks and the talks that they will be getting from the
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In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, adulteress Hester Prynne must wear a scarlet A to mark her shame. Her lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, remains unidentified and is wracked with guilt, while her husband, Roger Chillingworth who seeks revenge. In June 1642, A young woman named Hester Prynne was found guilty of adultery in the Puritan town of Boston. Then a crowd gathered to witness the punishment and now she must wear a scarlet A on her dress as a sign of shame.
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.
In The Scarlet Letter, Hester is exiled from her community because of her sins. Although everyone in the town sins, it is the way Hester’s were presented to them that makes her seem so wrong. They could not accept their faults, so instead, oppressed Hester and Pearl. “Thus the young and pure Would be taught to look At her, with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast,... -as the figure I the body.
Society had now begun to think that Hester had served her punishment. Although Hester was not accepted society before, she began to see the positive aspects of the community and was able continue on with her own life which eventually led to her being recognition of good character. Eventually recognizing her sin she had become a symbol of the Puritan faith, and eventually found her place in the community in a positive way. In The Scarlet Letter, the whole period of time the letter "A" was embroidered on her clothing it only represented one ideology, which was adultery. However, as time continues forward the community begins to finally start accepting her again, through her positive actions and influences, the letter "A" starts to represent a more positive ideology.
The townspeople “[began] to look upon the scarlet letter as a token, not of that one sin, for which she had borne so long and dreary a penance, but of her many good deeds since.” This quote exemplifies how sin is not a death sentence for Hester. Through hard work and charity it allowed the rigid Puritan society to see her as something different, and as someone who would not let society define who she was. Hester, thus, was not only able to change herself, but also the image in which society viewed her by working hard to benefit the public. Likewise, the scarlet letter which was supposed to represent sin was instead “fantastically embroidered with gold thread, upon her bosom.”
He gestures her to be quiet and not to reveal his identity as her husband. She is questioned by many about who the father of her baby is, the governor and eldest clergy man have Reverend Dimmesdale to reveal the father, and she refuses. I feel that Hester has shown courage and strength but society views her as sinful and evil and even though society has shunned and condemns her. While Dimmesdale has shown cowardness and weakness but society views him as righteous. After refusing she is giving a punishment of three hours on the scaffold, a lifetime of wearing the scarlet letter on her chest and put back in her jail cell. The Scarlet Letter emphasizes the fact that the only opinion that matters should be
Even though she is supposed to be humiliated in front of the town as punishment for her adultery, she smiles proudly and wears her scarlet letter as a badge. In this instance, Hester refuses to accept her punishment thereby nullifying the punishment. If Hester were to be embarrassed on the scaffold, she would give her punishment the power to be a punishment. However, when Hester instead smiles on the scaffold, she shows that she won’t let her sin control her, no matter what the other townspeople think of her. Another example of how Hester denies her punishment is how she designed the scarlet letter.
Those who had before known her, and had expected to behold her dimmed and obscured by a disastrous cloud, were astonished, and even startled, to perceive how her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the misfortune and ignominy in which she was enveloped" (Ch. 2). This shows that Hester never attempted to hide her sin, and the description of her sin demonstrates an act of forgiveness. Hester even embroidered the very thing that was supposed to mark her shame. “But the point which drew all eyes, and, as it were, transfigured the wearer,--so that both men and women, who had been familiarly acquainted with Hester Prynne, were now impressed as if they beheld her for the first time,--was that SCARLET LETTER,
The book the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a book about Hester Prynne a woman living in the 17th century. Hester commits the sinable act of adultery and is punished being forced to wear the scarlet letter A on her bosom. The symbol punishes her as an adultress and marks her shame, making her an outcast in the male dominated society, as she has gone against the strict restrictions society has imposed. So due to this, in regards to John Updikeś claim about Hester, I agree that she is “a mythic version of every woman’s attempt to integrate her sexuality with societal demands” through wearing the scarlet letter. Although the scarlet letter was meant to be a symbol of punishment, it gave Hester liberation from the social norms.
Her deeds were especially shocking as she was perceived as pest almost since she had to wear the scarlet letter as a reminder of her sin. Due to her deeds, the town is quoted as: “Many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification.” (168). During her early days of the wearing of the scarlet letter, she was shunned and shut out from normal activities; now, the townspeople believed her to be kind; they even changed what the “A” meant: “They said that it meant to be Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a women’s strength.” (168).
Hester Prynne, being the main character of the novel and having the punishment of wearing the scarlet letter A on her bosom, was convicted of adultery after she had conceived a little girl. Hester was originally sent to Boston and was supposed to wait for her husband to finish up affairs in Europe, but instead had an affair with none other than Arthur Dimmesdale, one of the highest figures in the
Hester who was caught committing adultery was condemned with standing on a scaffolding with a scarlet letter A the rest of her life. Though the male adulterer was never caught Hester’s husband Chillingworth sought out to make this person's life a living hell. This person was
Receiving the scarlet letter changed every aspect of Hester’s life. Especially at the start of the story, the letter symbolized the solitude and great suffering Hester faced just because of a letter placed on her bosom. The “A” also depicted how no one viewed Hester the same way as before her peccant actions. “…she saw that, owing to the peculiar effect of this convex mirror, the scarlet letter was represented in exaggerated and gigantic proportions, so as to be greatly the most prominent feature of her appearance” (Hawthorne 109). The pejorative community Hester lived in never saw Hester as the beautiful, young woman she was, but now, as a horrible fiend.
Hester changed her attire to a plain, darkshade, with no designs, which corresponded to her emotions. There was nothing she could accomplish to reduce the pain of the guilt since the truth was known by everyone in her hometown. As time went on, Hester regained some purport in her town. The townspeople demanded Hester for her skills and soon she did not need to wear the scarlet letter anymore, but she thought she deserved it. Whether the sin was committed in secrecy or not, both Hester and Dimmesdale went through similar consequences.