On Hester Prynne Compare And Contrast Essay

682 Words3 Pages

Because even her name conjures up many conflicting thoughts, the true nature of Hester Prynne from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is heavily debated among critics. Mark Van Doren and D.H. Lawrence both assert their conflicting perspectives with a multitude of convincing devices, but D.H. Lawrence more effectively portrays Hester Prynne as an enemy through the use of thought-provoking allusions, critical diction and repetition, and an unconventional syntax in his essay, On Hester Prynne. Hester Prynne’s iniquity is foremost illustrated by Lawrence’s use of several biblical allusions. Although Hester shows benevolence throughout the novel and came to be respected in society, Lawrence asserts that this whole persona is a lie. He deems her “another Magdalen,” alluding to Mary Magdalen who was thought to be the epitome of Christian devotion but …show more content…

The essay begins with a recollection of Hester’s wrongdoing. This stanza simplifies the complexity that is Hester by saying “the first thing she does is to seduce him/And the first thing he does is to be seduced” (Lawrence). Here, Lawrence uses a poetic style to assert that Hester is completely and indisputably in the wrong. By phrasing it simplistically, Lawrence is able to assert that with the notion of good versus bad, Hester is solely bad, leaving no room for further interpretation. This idea is also exemplified by short sentences later in the essay. Lawrence writes, “Flop/Flop goes spiritual love,” to articulate that Hester eradicates spiritual love and is thus unworthy of any thought beyond a mere “flop” (Lawrence). This syntax not only inhibits the reader from considering any good qualities Hester may have, but also allows the author to freely insult her more times throughout the essay and effectively address his point about her

Open Document