Society has had a long history of belittling both people and their individuality, and also not allowing people to reach their full potential. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hawthorne is constantly talking about society in a negative way. Hawthorne himself is a transcendentalist who views society as a terrible institution and a way to stop people from reaching their true potential. Hawthorne's view of both puritan society and society during his time plays into his view and characterization of Hester Prynne. Hester Prynne is a fictional character who committed a sin and was publicly shamed and shunned from society because of it. Hawthorne's use of negative diction and vivid imagery conveys a more disappointed, but also somewhat …show more content…
He uses terms like “graceful foliage” and “bare harsh outline” to compare who Hester could have been vs who she became, due to the scarlet letter. This damaging diction and harsh comparisons implies that Hawthorne is ultimately disappointed in Hester. Hawthorne also uses compare and contrast to contrast Hester and the society she lives in. He says “Men bolder than these had overthrown and rearranged the whole system of ancient prejudice” to display that he is disappointed in Hesters inability to take control of her life. He is also disappointed that even though she could have, she never rebuilt society to her standards. In this section Hawthorne is showing what Hester should have done and why it led to his negative feelings towards …show more content…
Hawthorne also uses repetition to show Hester in a more positive light, outlining his ambivalent tone. He uses negative diction to show that it isn't just Hesters fault for not improving upon herself, it is also society's fault. He uses more diction like “ to say that Hester needs to teardown society and build it from the ground up if she truly wants her situation to get better. A device he uses effectively here is imagery. He creates the image of other people who rejected society and succeeded to prove his point that Hester would have been much better off if she had done what she wanted to, not what she needed to. Hawthorne also uses dark diction like “wandered without a clew in the dark” and “labyrinth of a mind” to display that Hester is unable to break free from society, and instead wanders around without a purpose. In the last sentence he says “the scarlet letter had not done its office to prove that even though he is ultimately disappointed in Hester, he is also somewhat proud of her. He uses compare and contrast to describe this feeling. He contrasts the “wild and ghastly scenery” with the last sentence to show the many different ways he feels about Hester. The last sentence implies that even though he may seem disappointed in just about everything Hester has done, he is still able to see the good she has done in her
By comparing the audience's perception of Hester to the outward openness and accepting nature of Hester; Hawthorne support his notion that women or in this case a sinner like Hester were held to a higher standard than that of men, which explained why the majority of the outrage and scrutiny from the audience was focused on Hester rather than her counterpart,
We are introduced to Hester by hearing the description of fervor, “A throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments, and gray, steeple-crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods and other bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes” (Hawthorne 45). The idea that a character is introduced with such distinction shows the ostracization the character will deal with. The importance of this quote is not only exhibited by its words but also it’s place in the novel, by being the introduction to Hester and the first words of the novel, immense value and deeper meaning is added than it would have if the quote had been later on. Hester is talked among the townspeople as a “... woman [who] has brought shame upon us all, and [she] ought to die.” This is the pinnacle of shame she experiences and as the novel progressed so did the towns folks’ opinions.
The novel “The Scarlet Letter”, written by Natheniel Hawthorne is overflowing with figurative language, symbolism, and many other thematic subjects that have important roles within the story. Hester Prynne is the unfortunate bearer of the scarlet letter which is a symbol of her adulterous ways. Throughout the novel she is condemned yet admired for this small golden laced letter on her chest. This letter might seem insignificant but it turned her life upside down.
Hawthorne does a magnificent job at establishing the dark and judgemental environment around them through strategic diction, which also shows his ill-feeling towards the overly oppressive Puritans. The Puritans oblige to the strict rules of the church and punish all who have sinned against God. They are described as “people among whom religion and law were almost identical, and in whose character both were so thoroughly interfused, that the mildest and severest acts of public discipline were alike made venerable and awful” (Hawthorne 31). Hawthorne’s description effectively shows how Hester and Arthur’s love cannot prevail if they confess the truth of their connection, due to the cemented unforgiving nature of the Puritan society.
To begin, Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes pathos throughout his writing to imprint the importance of individual conscience into the reader 's mind. Hawthorne begins the book by having the reader pity the main character, Hester Prynne, as she is a young, husbandless, mother in a society that shames her for her unfortunate circumstances: “haughty as her demeanor was, she perchance underwent an agony from every footstep of those that thronged to see her, as if her heart had been flung in the street for them all to spurn and trample upon” (Hawthorne, 53). The consistent misfortune of Prynne evokes emotion in the reader and stresses the weight of her decisions. Prynne manages her way through such a hostile society -“Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly on your bosom” (Hawthorne, 188)- in a way that is metaphorically applicable to the real world, allowing the reader to truly connect and understand the character for who they are.
Hawthorne uses many forms of rhetoric to portray his characters, but relies heavily on pathos in the instance of Hester Prynne. She’s a member of an inherently misogynistic society, and because she’s a woman, her every act is scrutinized. As punishment for her act of adultery, Hester is ordered to adorn her chest with a permanent scarlet letter. Although the audience is well aware of the atrocity of the sin she’s committed, Hawthorne’s writing sparks a feeling of empathy within the reader. Throughout the novel, the reader is exposed to several clear uses of pathos.
When the news is released to the colony they force Hester to bear a scarlet letter “A” on her chest on all her clothing to show to everyone her sin she committed. Hawthorne was able to use this to analyze the colony and how they treated the “sinners”, but he also analyzes himself. Hawthorne was born and raised into a Puritan family, but he did not believe the way or the ideas they thought. Hawthorne was able to look past people’s sins and see who they truly were; by implementing the “A” he was able to develop the story of the protagonist, and validate her right to live a normal life because of his own beliefs and
However, he also uses these allusions to create a new side to his narrative as evident when he describes Hester’s resilience, and to create a new element in the plot as evident in his description of Dimmesdale’s penance and need for redemption. Therefore, Hawthorne demonstrates an effective use of allusions to craft a religious and detailed narrative for The Scarlet Letter by reviewing on parallels between the Bible and the novel’s main characters. There’s more to The Scarlet Letter than these allusions though, and there are many questions to answer about this book. These questions may never be answered fully, but by reading the novel itself, we might find the right places to start searching for answers and formulate our own opinions on the matter. What’s important from this novel is the realistic warning about what might happens when an individual place themselves too highly among others, a message Hawthorne writes to warn against the fervor of transcendentalism of his time.
The town first made the letter stand for adultery than the letter stood for able. Hester role in the town was to take care of people. Hester does charity work in the town. Hawthorne shows that from one bad thing, something good can come out of that bad
When Hawthorne declares, “the effluence of her mother’s lawless passion,” he is essentially blaming her for her misfortune and saying that her mistakes have led her to where she is; however, he implies that it was inevitable with how uncontainable her personality and passion was. This slightly condemnatory tone towards Hester contradicts the sorrow and criticization towards society that he once had. Hawthorne is experiencing a complexity in his tone. It seems as though he is unsure of where he should stand on this issue. Hawthornes transcendentalist ideas praise individuality, so her
This shows how ungrateful and judgemental her society is. All things considered, through these many skills Hester accomplishes, the meaning of the scarlet letter, embroidered on her chest, changes in meaning from ‘adulterer’ to ‘able.’ This eventually leads to women looking up to her and going to her for advice. As a result, “the scarlet letter ceased to be a stigma which attracted the world’s scorn and bitterness, and became a type of something to be sorrowed over, and looked upon with awe, yet with reverence too” (Hawthorne 257). Hester’s experiences living with society, as they looked down upon her, eventually changes the way society looks at people and the choices they make.
The author uses slow transitions in the novel to change our The view and his portrayal of Hester. He also uses Hester’s character to compare and bring attention to himself. Hester in particular, is first described in the novel by Hawthorne as deviant
Her initial defiance to cover and hide the scarlet letter foreshadows how Hester would handle her sin for the rest of the novel. She will not give up the name of the lover who helped her commit adultery, which sparks interest and anger among the townspeople. Hawthorne slowly repairs Hester’s reputation and reveals her true compassionate nature as the story progresses. Hester initially uses her embroidery talents, which were displayed by the work she did on the scarlet letter, to earn herself many jobs for people as their tailor and seamstress. People in the town then noticed how in her spare time Hester was aiding the poor and sick with no expectation of gratitude or reward.
As the residents surround Hester and start her grueling humiliation, the tone of the novel shifts to accusatory and disdainful. One woman says that “at the very least, they should have put the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne’s forehead” (36). They think that she “has brought shame upon [them] all, and ought to die” for it (36). The people think that Hester got off easy and should have been severely punished for her sin. Hawthorne expresses his disapproval of the society’s rituals by saying that even “the mildest and the severest acts of public discipline were alike made venerable and awful” (35).
The hypocritical society is blinded by how they should punish Hester that they are not showing kindness to Hester. Hawthorne creates the book to show how an individual spirit must overcome the difficult obstacles in the society cultural