The townspeople gave Hester the punishment of wearing a scarlet letter “A” on her chest, and using her as an example of a transgressor. Hester’s husband hates her and for doing an adultery act while he was lost at sea. They both despise each other, for they think of betrayal. Though they both committed a wrong act. The puritan religion has strict beliefs, and anyone who lives in the town must follow all the strict rules.
Individually the symbols offer a well-developed message; however, the multiple meanings contradict, because the different meanings mean opposite ideas. For example, Hester will forever be seen as an adulterer and a steward. These are two opposite concepts, especially in Puritan Society, because a steward helps and an adulterer sins. As the scarlet letter changes through the novel, the symbol contradicts Hester's image and her role in society. Hester is scarred with her sin and the punishment from the Puritans.
When Hester is forced to the scaffold the first time she gets emotionally berated for her sin as the scaffold starts defining who she is. She becomes unstable and afraid of what people think. She can’t try to defend herself as she has a chance to be killed for what she has done, so she takes the heat without letting anyone know who her spouse is. They said that she could take the
This subtle action was a sign that she was embarrassed and ashamed of what she had done. Although, Hester felt that her scarlet letter was a burden of shame on her life she eventually came to accept the scarlet letter that laid upon her bosom. As the story continued Hester stopped hiding the letter which signified that she took pride in it and was no longer ashamed of it, although the town still shunned her because of it. The letter had become so much a part of her that the first time she took
However, in The Scarlet Letter, after Hester had committed her sin of adultery and received her punishment (the “A”), the women were anything but polite. If Hester was seen in public, her existence was shunned, she was criticized, yelled at, and things were even thrown at her. In the Bible, which the Puritans strictly followed, Jesus said to his followers, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Instead of being merciful and kind towards Hester, the women were scornful and could care less about her. To repent for her sin, Hester started to commit herself to serving the less fortunate of the society, such as the poor.
Sin is a prevalent theme throughout Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter. The main character, Hester Pryne’s sin of adultery instigates the entire novel. The novel follows Hester’s journey in dealing with her sin in a strict Puritan town. Nathaniel Hawthorne provides an example of how someone’s sin can affect many individuals.
However, as he began to spend time with Jim and learned about his family and the hardships which he faced. Huck begins to see that Jim is no different than any white man is. Even though Huck still doesn’t understand that enslaving a person is wrong he does come to realize that Jim is no different than he is. Huck and Jim become very close while on their journey to find freedom. Huck and Jim become very good friends who are loyal to one another despite their racial differences.
Throughout all of Hester’s difficulties in life, she persisted through them and used them to better herself. Hester was bold and embellished her scarlet “A” that was forced upon her chest. Instead of wearing the letter with shame and deep regret like everyone in the town wished she would, Hester shocked everybody and instead wore it proudly without the remorse attached all the way from the prison to the scaffold in the center of the village. When Hester exited the prison, “she took the baby on her arm, and with a burning blush, yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed” (Hawthorne 50-51). Expecting her to look dismal and dull, her daring blue eyes and her shiny, brunette hair shocked the entire
By choosing to have an affair even though she was married, Hester created a life for herself that was filled with “guilt, sinkings of heart, and misfortune” because of her choice to disobey her religious morals (Hawthorne 150). Although she was extremely embarrassed of her actions, believing that she was even unworthy of death, Hester forced herself to live beyond her tragic situation and use it to grow as a person and strengthen her view on standing against the Puritan probity that the town was based upon. In order to punish her, the town forced Hester to wear a scarlet “A” upon her breast, which was meant to represent a “badge of shame” (Hawthorne 150). Through the scarlet hue of the “A”, as well as it being located above Hester’s heart, Hawthorne was able to reference the symbol of a heart that he consistently used throughout the book to describe her mentality. At this point in Hester’s life, the ignominious letter upon her breast symbolized “drops of bitterness” and guilt beginning to fill her heart.
She also feels superior to everyone so she sticks her nose up to everything and treats others below her because of her family’s former position in the town. But on the other hand, she is the protagonist because one, the town is part of the reason of her killing Homer and always pitying her and saying that she would live alone forever and two, because her dad had raised her that way. Her dad had kept her sheltered way too long and when any guy would try to get with her, he would turn them down because they were not "worthy enough. " She is also the major character in the story and there would be no one else to be the protagonist. At the beginning
In Nathaniel Hawthorne 's “Scarlet Letter” three characters embodie the morbidity of spirit. The Characters this essay will be speaking of are Dimmsdale and Hester Prynne. I will show you how they show their morbidity and how they reacted to their sin. Hester Prynne in the beginning of the book was young and beautiful. As she grew older and lived under her punishment her features grew harsher .
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).
“The most painful moral struggles are not those between good and evil, but between the good and the lesser good.” - Barbara Grizzuti Harrison. “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” and The Scarlet Letter both contain ordinary characters that demonstrate the inborn moral ambiguity in everyone. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is branded a criminal for her sins.
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.
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.