Although there are many symbols in the novel, Pearl stands out because she symbols Hester’s sin, love and passion, and she symbolizes good and evil. Throughout the book, Pearl is shown as a symbol of Hester's sin. In The Scarlet Letter, it says “But she named the infant “Pearl”, as being of great price, purchased with all she had, her mother's only treasure!”(Hawthorne 81). This is showing that Hester loves Pearl, but feels bad that she has to live her life being the product of sin. In the novel, Hester is always reminded of her sin and Pearl is the product of Hester and Dimmesdale's sin.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne utilizes the scarlet letter as a symbol of punishment for Hester Prynne's sin and the ability of redemption. The scarlet "A" has many different meanings that can help and hinder the overall message. Firstly, the scarlet letter on Hester's garments symbolizes Hester's adultery and her sin in the Puritan Community, but she embroiders it with gold thread to show the possibility for beauty to emerge from her sin. She wears the letter constantly as punishment and a reminder for her sin. As the novel progresses, the letter turns Hester into an advocate for Puritan Society, because she becomes more involved in the community.
John Updike described Hester Prynne, the main protagonist, as “a mythic version of every woman’s attempt to integrate her sexuality with societal demands.” In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne was used as a symbol of women’s struggle and acceptance to meet society’s expectations as a woman and especially as a wife. These expectations being; loyal, the proper mom for her child and following the guidelines of the Bible by not committing any sins, etc. She was labeled as an adulterer but above everything else she became a power identity and a symbol of bravery. Before understanding why Hester was a mythic version for all these reasons, it is important to first understand who Hester is, what she did and why she is such a crucial character in this 1850 romance novel. Hester Prynne is mother of Pearl whom she had through an affair with Arthur Dimmesdale.
All wrongful actions have consequences, furthermore, the consequences of one mistake has the power to flip one’s life upside down and ultimately change their life forever. This is what happens to Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Hester has been found guilty for adultery, a sin punishable by death in the Bible, and is forced by the Puritan society in which she lives in face major repercussions. Hester is forced to atone for her sins through prison time, public humiliation, and the forced wearing of a scarlet letter. Despite this, Hester Prynne is a resilient young woman, determined to overcome the circumstances thrust upon her, although she slowly becomes less of a woman and loses her ability to love, she remains a kind and caring woman.
As a punishment for committing adultery, Hester must wear the A until the court says she does not have to wear it any more. In addition, Hester, as a single parent, must raise Pearl until she grows up. When Hester gives birth to Pearl, the first thing Pearl noticed about her mother is the A. It physically tortures Hester to have to look at Pearl everyday, and think about her sin. Together Pearl and the A are constant reminders that she will never escape her past mistake.
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.
Well observed in our reality as well, this phenomenon has to do with trying to force a certain individual into a stereotype which in the long term might result in this person subconsciously “living up” to those statements i.e. they will gradually start behaving the way their peers falsely perceived or accused them of doing. This is also indicative of the indisputable presence of sexism in Salem. Even after John Proctor confesses about his sin in act III, this only adds to Abigail’s loathsome personality. Seventeen centuries later, the female part of the society still bears the heavy weight of the original sin.
For instance, she had to pledge, judge, and urge for the separation to not take place because it would affect them both equally. As evidence, “He looked now more careworn and emaciated than as we described him at the scene of Hester 's public ignominy” that indicates how Hester was put forth once again by the public for the same sin that was committed. However, the second it was far more important because she was fighting for her daughter, Pearl’s hostility. Hester is shown at a low and vulnerable position in her life once again which could quickly be mistaken for weakness, that not exactly being the case because she is known to overcome her huge opticals. To many the way, Hawthorne characterizes Hester Prynne it may be complicated, but considering that her character has gone through a lot it is made clear that the character is not being dramatic but
Nathaniel Hawthorne shattered these boundaries with his novel, The Scarlet Letter. The protagonist, Hester Prynne, displays characteristics that make her a feminist hero. Hester is able to resist her punishment’s constraints and challenge the prejudiced court officials in the process. While her sin is plastered across her chest as a constant reminder of her past, she attempts to find feasible ways to live a normal life, defying the Puritan society’s standards. She surpasses all limitations that are put on her as a woman who has committed adultery.
Of husband and wife, brother and sister, friend and friend, or any other relationship that is formed in one's life, the bond between mother and child is the strongest. Throughout The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, Edna's children, by their very existence, serve as chains that keep her from pursuing her own goals and desires, as she is bound to them by her motherly duties. Edna's feelings of bondage by her children force her to remove herself from an innately meaningful relationship, in an attempt to elsewhere find meaning. This backwards mindset leads to Edna's eventual downfall, where, even then, she could not understand what she let go. Her stagnant thinking throughout the book reveals that she never had an "awakening", and she was doomed to