The scarlet letter separated Hester from society. “That SCARLET LETTER, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom. It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and inclosing her in a sphere by herself,” (Hawthorne 37). Due to the nature of the scarlet letter representing the sin, it can be implied that sin separates one from society. Hester stated, “‘Once in my life I met the Black Man!’ said her mother.
The Infamous “A” Committing sin is an inevitable condition of human life. Forgiving a sin is not always easy; neither is forgetting. A reputation could be destroyed with one sin. It is troublesome enough to forgive one’s wrong and move on, but what about peers? In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne was branded with a scarlet letter A after being founded as an adulteress.
First, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the Scarlet Letter to contribute the theme of guilt. Hester felt guilty by isolating herself and feeling what she did was wrong and inappropriate. This guilt resulted Hester being reformed, and eventually forgiven and respected by her
The society enforced these morals by punishing her with the scarlet letter and making her an outcast. Hawthorne describes this punishment when he writes, “She was made the common infamy, at which all mankind was summoned to point its finger” (71). The entirety of the town could view the scarlet letter, the mark of her sin. However, it was not enough for them to punish her by making her shame public. Puritan morals required Hester to feel truly terrible about her sin and to repent.
The Puritan use of ignominy and blame was meant to initiate guilt in a person's mind. When you would commit a crime the punishment was usually equally yoked between man and woman. Marvelous it may be to see and consider how some kind of wickedness did grow and break forth here, in a land where the same was so much witnessed against and so narrowly looked unto, and severely punished when it was known, as in no place more, or so much, that I have known or
But what about those who confessed to their crime, learn from their mistakes, and never do it again? They will have to live with the burden for the rest of their life. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester had to do just that. Hester stood on the scaffold in front of the public as punishment for her affair. But in the seven years she spent serving her punishment, she realized that she did wrong, confessed, and she never did anything like that again.
In religion, sin is the concept of bringing shame and impurity to one’s self by committing wrongful acts that go against the moralistic and spiritual values of the community. Types of sins and their severity greatly depend on the community that is worshiping and the religion that is being practiced. For example, in Puritan society, there are sins that are considered ultimately condemning such as adultery: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not his or her spouse. This is due to their strong views against sex, sexualization, and what they call the Original Sin- the sin committed by Adam and Eve- which is sex as well. In the Scarlet Letter there are three characters that are unquestionably sinners, but the
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne centers around the idea of shame, a controlling characteristic of life that influences every characters actions. This novel focuses on the Massachusetts Bay Colony, a strict Puritan society. When Hester Prynne commits adultery in this town, she is forced into a lifetime of public shame. This not only changes her way of life, but her daughter’s as well. Yet the man that she commits adultery with is not exposed, and instead endures his own private shame, which is arguably more brutal than if he revealed himself as her lover.
Everyone makes mistakes, but it is what people do with their lives after the mistake that define them. In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne changes throughout the novel physically and mentally. The letter “A” on Hester’s chest helps Hester grow into a better person. The “A” gives Hester Prynne confidence; she does not let her mistake define her. The “A” gives her courage because she stays in Boston even though everyone hates her.
The way the townspeople and her family have treated her throughout her life forced her into a more outspoken, aggressive nature. In the ending scene of the play, Kate has become a paragon for women of the time. Evidently, when a shrew ceases to be one, other women must bear the title. Petruchio tells Katherina to throw her hat on the ground, and she complies. Bianca calls the exchange foolish duty, and, in Act IV scene II, Lucentio (her husband) replies, “I would your duty were as foolish too”.