In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s highly acclaimed novel, The Scarlet Letter, a Puritan town’s reaction is described after Hester Prynne raises a scandal that goes against the town’s religious views. The Puritans believe the Bible should be translated into their life and that God should be the center of it. Many of them think of Hester as a sinful woman without virtue. They treat her as an outcast and consider that she is somehow affiliated with the Devil. However, after reading Proverbs 31 and analyzing the novel, a conclusion can be determined that Hester Prynne does in fact have virtue.
Furthermore, The Scarlet Letter and 1984 both show the reader how an individual can use their personal, sometimes unfortunate, situation to their advantage thereby making both novels, that are set in different historical time periods, very similar.
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy,” (KJV 28:13). The message of this short proverb is simple: confess. Despite this, there are millions refusing to reveal their hidden atrocities to the oblivious public. But you don’t need public ridicule for a sin to destroy you, in fact, it would be better if you did confess. This is the ideology of Nathaniel Hawthorne author of The Scarlet Letter. In this book, Hawthorne details an elaborate story showing the consequences of confessing sins in contrast to concealing it. A sin weighing down on you and destroying you from the inside out is a moral consequence and, the only remedy is confessing the sin. This notion can be seen in the difference between Hester and Dimmesdale with how they handled the scarlet letter and the effects of that.
In the novels, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, discipline played an important role. Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter committed adultery and was sentenced to wear the letter “A” on her bosom at all times and to stand on a scaffold every Sunday at twelve. In The Crucible, discipline was known to be more extreme. Innocents began to lose lives as they were either hanged or pressed by stone. In both novels, the discipline was supported by the townspeople. Extreme discipline was given to sinners and lawbreakers because of the Christian belief the characters had in both novels.
Arthur Miller, in an excerpt from "In a Sense I Went Naked to Salem," used the phrase "breaking of charity." From the given examples, this phrase means the changing of positive emotions into negative emotions. Said examples were lovers turning into enemies and parents disowning their child. In "The Scarlet Letter," Nathaniel Hawthorne uses multiple characters and how they are treated/how they feel as examples of "breaking of charity."
Hester, the reason for this book has on one of the most simple things, she has committed adultery. At times Hester, the reason for this book has on one of the most simple things, she has committed adultery. At times it does not bother her, but of course like anyone when people are talking to you, it can get to you and it does for Hester Prynne. “... the judgement of God…” (Hawthorne 152). Although Hester had confidence in herself, Dimmesdale whom commit the same crime did not and felt guilt within himself. Dimmesdale was always hesitant and knew he did something wrong, but was glad no one knew. “‘What is it that haunts and tempts me thus?’ cried the minister to himself…” (Hawthorne 175). The sin of adultery will not be relieved from their conscious until they have confessed what they have done wrong.
Hypocrisy plagues the pages of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter as a result of the Puritans deceitful and conforming ways. Trials and rumors bring out the worst of the Puritans in The Crucible. While, in The Scarlet Letter, scandal and humiliation overcast the so called holiness of the Puritans. In the Puritan society, pride and selfishness would bring out one’s hypocritical ways if their reputation was at stake.
Adultery- In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne Commits adultery. Once she has committed she gets shamed for life. Adultery is also a very important point throughout the story. It shows how it can wreak havoc on anyone’s life. The society doesn’t handle Adultery well. Adultery is also a key point in many of the Puritan society of those days.
In the beginning of the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne introduces the main character Hester Prynne, a young, beautiful member of a Puritan society being punished for her sin of love, not lust. The opening chapters introduce the reader to gossips who deem her original punishment, death, too harsh and contrary to Puritan beliefs that unborn babies should be given a chance at life. Instead, Hester and her child are to be alienated and shunned. In addition she is to wear the letter ‘A’ (which stands for ‘adultery’) on her chest which will forever display her as a symbol of shame for her sin. Though a very resilient figure who soon overcomes this pain, Hester’s isolation takes a negative toll on her life. In a scene where Hester, the governor,
With the inner struggle of guilt, a person can either be redeemed or destroyed. In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne Hester Prynne is ridiculed publicly by the Puritan community for adultery. Mr. Dimmesdale, the man Hester cheats with is a young minister in the town, and hides his sin from the community. Together the two have a daughter named Pearl, that Hester raises. Pearl is a constant reminder of their sin, in which Hester holds onto public guilt, and Dimmesdale onto private guilt. Both Hester and Dimmesdale are destroyed by their guilty consciences, but Hester can redeem herself in the town. Dimmesdale continues to be brought down by sin. In the novel
“’Thus she will be a living sermon against sin, until the ignominious letter be engraved upon her tombstone. It irks me, never the less, that the partner of her iniquity should not, at least, stand on the scaffold by her side’” (Hawthorne 59). There are two sinners that have committed the same sin but one is known to society and the other hides it. In The Scarlet Letter Hester and Dimmesdale have committed adultery but only Hester is publically punished for her sin, while Dimmesdale punishes himself. Based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter the moral consequences of sin are conveyed as public shame and internal torture. Hawthorne also illustrates that one can be redeemed through open confession.
“It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to do something that you wish you hadn’t done, because if we don’t do those things we never grow.”- Dawn Stanyon. Hester Prynne was one of the main characters in the book The Scarlet Letter and she made a horrible mistake which in the end became the best mistake she ever made. In the beginning of the book Hester Prynne had committed adultery and had a baby because of it which caused people to look down upon her and they made her wear a scarlet A on her clothes to show that she committed adultery. Hester instantly regretted the decision she made, but she never knew how this decision could impact her life for the better. She became emotionally stronger, she became a wiser and
In the “Scarlet Letter,” Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays hypocrisy of the Puritan society, where the protagonist Hester Prynne face many consequences of her actions and the how she tries to redeem herself to the society. During the seventeenth puritans believe that it is their mission to punish the ones who do not follow God’s word and it is their job to stop those from sinning. Therefore, the hypercritical puritan society punishes Hester harshly for committing adultery, but in Hester’s mind, she believes that what she did was not a sin but acts of love for her man. Eventually, she redeems herself by turning her crime into an advantage to help those in need, yet the Puritan society still view her as a “naughty bagger.” (Hawthorne 78)
We are all sinners. Although one may try hard not to sin, all humans eventually succumb at some time or another to sin. While people may not able to avoid the fate which awaits them, the power of free will allows people to decide how they will respond to sin. While some may respond with guilt and regret, others may react with a sense of redemption and a renewed sense of responsibility.
The opening scene, in which Hester stands on the scaffold and defiantly refuses to name her lover, signals a complex swerve of high or elite literature from the popular pressure toward legibility (5). The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne follows the lifestyle of Puritans in early America in many ways. One of the ways Hawthorne explores their lives is how they are punished for their sins over several contexts, such as family, the church, and state. There is the world of the Puritans, who recognize no distinction between the public and the private and who assume that all should be bared before the multitude; and there is the consciousness of the three central characters, who wrap themselves in secrecy (5). The punishments for sin of men and women, however, fluctuate over the course of the story. Although the town views Hester’s sin, adultery, as horrible and they punish her for life, they don 't equally punish the man who acted with her, ask or consider the whole story, and praise how Dimmesdale’s been acting, without knowing he’s also guilty of the sin.