Although publicly admitting to sin can be a challenging task, time will heal the initial pain. Hester Prynne, of the Scarlet Letter, lives this lesson as she commits the sin of adultery. Her punishment for the sin is to wear the letter “A” on her bosom until she is allowed to remove it by the Puritan authorities wishes. Initially, Hester feels guilt and shame as she wears it. As Hester’s character grows in strength, she overcomes the letter’s original purpose of punishment. By wearing the “A,” Hester was publicly humiliated, however, her development in character causes a change in the meaning of the Scarlet Letter, which leads her to taking pride in the letter as it grows a part of her.
In The Scarlet Letter, when Hester is first brought out on the scaffold to by publically shamed for her ignominy, Arthur Dimmesdale pleads with her to name him as her fellow sinner so that he will not have to reveal himself when he exclaims, "Be not silent from any mistaken pity and tenderness for him; for, believe me, Hester, though he were to step down from a high place, and stand there beside thee, on thy pedestal of shame, yet better were it so, than to hide a guilty heart through life.” Hester refuses him and Dimmesdale goes unnamed and unpunished until the very end of the story. While Dimmesdale refuses to accept responsibility for his sin, Hester embraces the shame of the community. It is this difference which causes Dimmesdale enormous amounts of guilt and pain while Hester in able to find peace with herself and with her situation. By confessing her sin, Hester is able to move on and uses her punishment as a means to grow and improve
In the book “The Scarlet Letter” written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is charged with adultery in the Puritan society. The Puritan society saw her as a disgrace. Her punishment would have been death, but no one in the community knew if Hester’s husband is alive or dead. Instead her punishment is to wear a scarlet letter A on her clothing and public humiliation. Hester works through her sin and atonement in the beginning, middle, and end of the book.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is an extreme outcast in her society following her public ignominy and being sinfully branded as the adulterer. Succeeding Hester’s removal of the “A” from her chest, she initially believes that “the burden of shame and anguish departed from her spirit” (182). Hester feels as though the removal of the “A” has removed the stigma pertaining to the “A”, as well as the constraints and disregard society has cast upon her. But whether or not Hester contains a physical marker of her ignominy, she will be abandoned within society. After seven years of being accustomed to Hester’s sin, townspeople still believe Hester was “dead, in respect to any claim of sympathy” (203). Hester remains a victim
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter takes place in the Massachusetts Bay colony during the 17th century. The story revolves around a young woman, named Hester Prynne, who is forced by her community to bestow a scarlet “A” on her chest for the rest of her life in order to remind her of the adulterous sin and crime she has committed. As her punishment, in the form of public humiliation, Hester is constrained to stand upon a scaffold in the town square while holding her illegitimate baby, Pearl.
In the book The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays the transgressions of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale and the consequences of adultery and revenge. Roger Chillingworth, a physician and the secret spouse of Hester, torments Dimmesdale to his death. There is a substantial amount of evidence that Chillingworth’s sin is greater than the minister’s; but in reality, Dimmesdale has committed the greater sin.
Hester and Dimmesdale have a very unique love for eachother. Their love is reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet in the way that they are not able to pursue it. They are people who have been hardened and hurt by their past mistakes. They share that connection with each other unlike anyone else. Hester and Pearl go to meet up with Dimmesdale in the forest in complete effort to keep their relationship a complete secret. While discussing Dimmesdale’s faite, Hester feels that “the sacrifice of the clergyman’s good name, and death itself, ...would have been infinitely preferable to the alternative which she had taken upon” (Hawthorne, 149) meaning that she does not want him to suffer the same public shame that she did if he were to reveal their affair.
Punishment of Puritans for their sins occurred harshly and frequently, and these punishments ranged from fines, branding, and severe whippings to hanging and death. Many of these penalties involved public humiliation of some kind, which made it extremely difficult for townspeople to accept by their peers after they had sinned. Because the Puritans believed religion was immensely important, the community was often reluctant to allow citizens that exhibited sinful behavior to achieve redemption (Cox). However, in the case of Hester Prynne, an adulterer in Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter, the townspeople eagerly made amends with her. This novel narrates the life of Hester Prynne, who committed adultery and courageously accepted the repercussions
Sin in puritan times was not taken lightly. Ignominy was how sinners were punished, and in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the protagonist Hester Prynne was no exception. She was publicly shamed, and forced to wear the letter “A” on her chest. Everything that was meant to be ugly in Hester’s life, turned into something beautiful. The letter Hester had to wear was meant to be ugly, but instead she made it beautiful. Also, her reputation in town was supposed to be negative but because she worked hard at what she love to do, her reputation became positive. Her daughter, Pearl, was also meant to be ugly because she was a physical representation of sin. Pearl grew from a baby that was seen as ugly into a beautiful woman. The beautiful things in Hester’s life came out of the things that were supposed to be ugly, such as the scarlet letter itself, Hester’s reputation and Pearl.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, in the tale of sin, revenge, and punishment, Hester Prynne involves herself in self-deception due to being caught up in a fraudulent interpretation of her sin and lives in an opaque concept of a better life. Hawthorne 's emotional and psychological drama revolves around Hester Prynne, who is convicted of adultery in colonial Boston by the civil and Puritan authorities. She is condemned to wear the scarlet letter "A" on her chest as a permanent sign of her sin. Consequently, Hester is complicated by her own interpretation of the letter and is embittered by the fact that she deems her punishment and the trials of her punishment will disappear along with the removal of the Scarlet Letter revealed by the characterization of her attitude in the novel. In the beginning, Hester attempts to prove that she does not care about what other people think, but later becomes paranoid and wants to escape from being the product of wrongdoing that the town perceives her as.
Destroyed from the outside in or suffering for years on end; neither represents a favorable consequence, but one can lead to a rebirth. Consequences of sin can vary, because hidden sin and exposed sin express themselves in different ways. Hidden sin can eat away at a person, while expressed sin rehabilitates a lost soul. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, two main characters, Dimmesdale and Hester, demonstrate their own dealings with sin. The two had committed adultery, but only Hester’s sin revealed itself to the community. Outcasted from the community, Hester embraced her sin. In contrast, Dimmesdale, ironically, maintained the position of the minister in the town. Unable to absolve his own mistakes, Dimmesdale suffered through his secrecy. Moral consequences of hidden sin, exhibited when one's inner self becomes nothing but self-hate, is only redeemed with the truth. Dimmesdale received extensive internal punishment for his concealed sin, yet remained unforgiven, whereas Hester trivialized her sin and reinstated herself as an active member of society.
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.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthrone demonstrates the consequences of sin and the effect it brings upon the individual and in the community in Boston 1840s. Throughout the Scarlet Letter, readers are constantly reminded of hypocrisy through characters such as Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth.
The human desire to fight for rights is unavoidable. History has proven that people will always fight against a societal practice they deem unjust as shown during the abolition and suffrage movements. Although Hawthorne opposed abolitionists and feminists because he believed they would cause too much conflict and violence, he acknowledged that slavery was wrong and realized these movements were unstoppable. Nathaniel Hawthorne addresses the consequences of radical change in his book, The Scarlet Letter, through the sin of Hester Prynne. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne defies the Puritan society’s harsh laws by committing adultery and later redeems herself by becoming a helpful member of Puritan society. Nathaniel Hawthorne
The novel The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850, focuses on the life of a young woman named Hester Prynne, who is tried and convicted of adultery. In the beginning of the book, Hester is seen on the scaffold, clutching a baby. Throughout the first three chapters, the baby is mentioned, but not given a very prominent role. However, her character truly adds an inside look into the chapters.