In the same way, the characters in The Scarlet Letter determine their fate through their own actions. Similarly to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the theme of doing what one wants versus living up to societal expectations is, shown through the scenes that happen in the town of Boston, and the scenes that happen outside of it. The first instance where this occurs while inside of Boston is when Hester decides to defy her society by having a child with the man she truly loves. Even though the affair was with a man whom Hester loves, since she is already married when she has the affair, she is being publicly questioned, on a scaffold; about the name of the man, she had the affair. While on the scaffold, Hester felt “as if her heart [has] been …show more content…
The first instance where this occurs outside of the Boston is when Hester decides to use her needleworking skills as her profession. Hester’s expert needleworking skills led her to the point where her work “[is] seen on the ruff of the Governor; military men [wear] it on their scarfs, and the minister on his band” (Hawthorne 80). Through her skills of needleworking, Hester is able to subscribe to the culture of society by making clothing that is used by the people of Boston in their day-to-day lives. In addition, she also uses her needleworking skills to make clothing for the poor. Even though Hester goes through the trouble of making clothing for the poor, the poor still look down on her since she is a sinner. 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. In addition, due to the respect people gained towards Hester, more people in the Puritan society of Boston began to realize that even the most holy of people may be sinners deep down inside. All in all, through the many different situations where the theme is shown, the characters of The Scarlet Letter choose their
It is not really explored in the book “The Scarlet Letter” how Roger Chillingsworth plans to take revenge. But by reading you can see how Roger is getting revenge on the lovers. Simply by being a shadow over them Roger seems to get his revenge. If he is always there to remind them of their sin then that seems good enough for him. He seeks revenge on Dimmesdale’s mind, by constant torment.
Sin and Revenge in Massachusetts The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, taking place in colonial Massachusetts, depicts the life of Hester Prynne. A women shunned by her society for committing adultery and a mother to her newborn child, she must bear a large red “A” upon her dress as her punishment. However, her punishment does not satisfy the colony -- the majority believes she deserves a worse punishment. In contrast, an inopportune traveler hears of Hester’s transgression on the day of her public trial and decides that she does not deserve punishment.
In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne links the mind and body together in order to demonstrate the hierarchical relationship the two have by implanting an abstract form of sin into the mind and revealing its tangible effects on the body. As guilt slowly torments Hawthorne and Hester’s spiritual mind and soul, the mental deterioration trickles down into their physical well-being. The two characters exemplify the two polarities of overcoming shame and guilt; Hawthorne represents those who cannot cope while Hester characterizes the able and strong-willed. By crafting these opposite personalities, Hawthorne implies that the mind resides on a higher tier than the body and conditions that affect the mind will subsequently affect the body. However, he suggests that
Revenge is a powerful thing, especially when a man allows it to consume his thoughts and control his every action and emotion. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Roger Chillingworth is a perfect example of a man who allows his vengeful thoughts to turn into an obsession. When Roger Chillingworth returns to the colony after being held captive by Indians, he finds his wife Hester Prynne standing on a scaffold holding a child. Once Chillingworth learns of Hester’s affair, he devotes his life to the vengeance of Hester’s “unknown lover.”
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter a peculiar character whose real name is never revealed, poisons a man with a vicious bite. The reader may know him as Roger Chillingworth, the husband of Hester Prynne and self proclaimed physician, but a closer look at his appearance and actions will show how he fueled the fire of Hell. How Roger Chillingworth was the Devil. Everything about Chillingworth was told through his appearance throughout the story as he became the embodiment of Hell’s tyrant.
Pride and prejudice, weathering Heights and the scarlet letter each show in different ways the evolving democratic values of the 19th century. Each novel highlights a different subject one just as important as the last. All representing in their own unique way what it is to be an American. Pride and prejudice reflects the equality of women and the rising of the women 's movement, weathering Heights symbolizes social class distinction and the scarlet letter was used to express the core beliefs of liberty.
In their attempt to punish Hester for her adultery, Puritan society loses their ethics as they deprive her of free expression. Moreover, after having a heartfelt conversation with Reverend Dimmesdale in which she takes off the scarlet letter, Hester puts it back on with “…the scarlet misery glittering on the old spot...her beauty, the warmth and richness of her womanhood, departed like fading sunshine, and a gray shadow seemed to fall across her” (Hawthorne 133). Again, through the
In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses Hester to create the theme of reputation by presenting her as a woman whose reputation was ruined by an extramarital affair. She endures being forced to stand on a scaffold while holding her newborn babe, while villagers gossip below. "You must needs be a stranger in this region, friend," answered the townsman, looking curiously at the
The Scarlet Letter Essay “All that guilty sorrow, hidden from the world, whose great heart would have pitied and forgiven, to be revealed to him, the Pitiless, to him, the Unforgiving! All that dark treasure to be lavished on the very man, to whom nothing else could so adequately pay the debt of vengeance!” (Hawthorne 111). Without doubt, throughout The Scarlet Letter Roger Chillingworth is been a very flat character in the sense that even from his first appearance in chapter three until chapter twenty-four when he drops dead his mission was to get revenge on Pearl's father.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, while beginning as a story of one woman, Hester Prynne, ultimately serves as a bird’s eye view of the community she lives within. The crushing weight of socio religious expectations within this community morphs public opinion into a weapon, one to be used unyieldingly against those deemed corrupt. Though never explicitly rebuked by the puritan doctrine or its leaders, this gossip-fueled public shame is utilized by Hawthorne to illuminate the hypocrisy within his ancestral hometown. Hester’s reputation is completely interwoven with the community’s own, with each of her wrongdoings leaving a stain upon the record shared amongst the townspeople.
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter written in the 1800’s is a novel about a Puritan society in the 1600’s. A Puritan is a religious person who believe that pleasure is evil. The novel is about a young, beautiful women named Hester Prynne. She has committed adultery and is forced to wear a scarlet letter A in shame. A baby girl resulted from the sinful act, named Pearl.
By wearing the “A,” Hester was publicly humiliated, however, her development in character causes a change in the meaning of the Scarlet Letter, which leads her to taking pride in the letter as it grows a part of her. After Hester’s sin the Puritan community places a false
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.
We are all sinners, no matter how hard we try to hide our faults, they always seem to come back, one way or another. Written in the 19th century, Nathaniel Hawthorne shows us Hester Prynne and how one sin can change her life completely. Hester Prynne changes a great deal throughout The Scarlet Letter. Through the view of the Puritans, Hester is an intense sinner; she has gone against the Puritan way of life committing the highest act of sin, adultery. For committing such a sinful act, Hester must wear the scarlet letter while also having to bear stares from those that gossip about her.
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)