English Scarlet Letter Essay - Caitlin Strout In the seventeenth century the puritan society had many expectations, women were seen as their husband 's property, they were expected to take care of the kids, clean the house and have and innocent persona. The children were expected to act very mature and listen to the adults. Nathaniel Hawthorne writes the novel The Scarlet Letter, that tells the story of about a women named Hester Prynne who lived in a strict puritan society, who was put on trial for commiting and adulterous act with the town minister Arthur Dimmesdale, and as a result from that act Hester had a child, Pearl. Hester is forced to wear a scarlet letter that will never allow Hester to forget her past nor allow the town to view her the same again. Though the town has isolated her, Hester is not completely alone, she has Pearl, who is meant to bring happiness to Hester. Although Pearl does bring happiness to Hester’s life and keeps her from getting lonely, Pearls purpose in the book is to be a challenge to the normality of the strict puritan society. Pearl helps push through the strict puritan expectation of everyone being innocent, by challenging Dimmesdale to come clean about his past. Arthur Dimmesdale is meant to be the epitome of innocence, he is the town minister and preaches purity. Although Dimmesdale preaches these topics, the town would be shocked to find out that he does not practice what he preaches and he had an affair with Hester Prynne. As a
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He was the last person that people would think as a sinner. Dimmesdale was sin when he was committed adultery with Hester. He broke the law of church, but he was afraid to face the punishment and indifferent attitude from he masses. As a faithful follower, Dimmesdale also afraid the punishment of God, so he flog himself with a whip. The physical and spiral torture and the control of Chillingworth stranded him in a world that he cannot contact with others.
Dimmesdale is described as a persuasive speaker and exhibits his power to do so, as he sways the magistrates and Governor Billingham to change their mind. Dimmesdale is able to do so by in cooperating puritan ideals and prove how Hester’s parenting is sufficient. Dimmesdale uses religion to his advantage, first by stating that God bestowed Pearl to Hester, then explains why Hester chose to tell Pearl- her birth was a religious “Burden”. (Hester told pearl that she has no knowledge of an earthly father and instead a heavenly one – As Pearl is a Living “A” or a scarlet letter). Dimmesdale continues to use this as a reason for the community an example of sins and its affects.
The choice of whether to conform to society's demands or to comply with personal impulses is a difficult one. This is an idea that Nathaniel Hawthorne explores extensively in The Scarlet Letter. This theme of conformity and individuality is manifested mainly through the character of Hester Prynne; a woman who committed adultery in an idealistic Puritan town with (35). Hester Prynne struggles between the of Puritan ideas and her constantly throughout the novel. As the story develops, however, it is evident to the reader that Hester is an individual—not a product of her town.
She vows to never reveal the name of Pearl’s father, however it is later revealed that he is the ever-so-respected town Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester is more than aware of her exclusion from the groups of the colony, even though she was working to rebuild her name by working and keeping busy, “In all her intercourse with society, however, there was nothing that made her feel as if she belonged to it. Every gesture, every word, and even the silence of those with whom she came in contact, implied, and often expressed, that she was banished, and as much alone as if she had inhabited another sphere, or communicated with the common nature by other organs than the rest of human kind” (page 108). The judgmental community that Hester is a part of, ceases to affect her actions. She refuses to leave, and raises her daughter the best that she can- with love, respect, without revealing to Pearl what makes her different.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne’s sin mars her chest, but her true punishment, and salvation, dwells within her daughter, Pearl. Often described as a peculiar sprite, this impish girl proves to be a vital character in her mother’s development, and amplifies the correctional efficacy of the scarlet letter, though not in a way the Puritans had expected. Pearl is one of the few people who are able to reveal Hester’s true character, and she plays an important role in her psychological stability and support throughout the story. As the product of sin, Pearl was born into a world that despised her existence and regarded her as an extension of the scarlet letter.
Throughout the passage from The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses Hester’s baby, Pearl, to illuminate the theme of beauty in a dark place. Once released from prison, Hester, an adulterer, becomes a public spectacle. Through this hard time, Hester has her daughter Pearl to soothe her and to bring her strength and hope for a better future. By using vivid imagery and juxtaposition, Hawthorne depicts Pearl as Hester’s happiness, light, and beauty during a sad and lonely time. While in Prison, Hester is all alone and depressed.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was a very well-known author in the mid-1800s. The manuscript that made him famous was the novel, “The Scarlet Letter.” Which was officially published in the year of 1850 along with two of his other very successful stories, “Young Goodman Brown.” And “The Minister’s Black Veil.” Hawthorne’s books became very popular in the year that it was published and has managed to remain extremely popular now, high school and college students are currently required to read his work today.
Hester is prosecuted for committing a crime of adultery while Mr.Dimmesdale is not being punished for committing the same crime. Hester is looked down upon in the community while the townspeople praise Mr.Dimmesdale. The events that took place in the story does not exemplify a feminist novel, but illustrates a strong female character. Hester was constantly persecuted by the women in town, “This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die”(Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, 50) harsh words were said behind her back. Children even had the
The novel The Scarlet Letter focuses on the lives of sinners in a puritan community. Hester Prynne has been convicted of adultery. Unknown to the other characters Arthur Dimmesdale, the town priest is her partner in crime. The product of this sin is their daughter Pearl. While Hester was being persecuted her long lost husband arrived.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, wrote of how the Puritans were people who fought a battle between good and evil in their everyday lives. Hawthorne depicted this battle throughout the novel by symbolizing light and darkness. The sunshine, light, stood for what was good and right. Darkness symbolized the Devil and wrongdoings. Thus, this theme of light against darkness was seen throughout the entire novel due to various character’s problems with deciding what was good and evil to themselves and to the society.
Some of the differences between these two characters are also what makes them alike, as well as setting them apart from the rest of the characters in the book. Hester and Dimmesdale’s need to repent and face their punishments in their own ways leads the reader through the book with surprises at every turn. The characters face challenges from holding in a secret, and facing a punishment all relating to the same actions taken before the book begins. Hester, the mother of Pearl ,as well as the main character, was
It is quite obvious in Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter that Pearl, Hester Prynne 's daughter, plays a major role. Not only is she one of the main characters, but she is prevalent theme in the novel, as well. Pearl is not written like a regular character. Most of the other symbols in the story, such as the scarlet letter or the rose bush, lead back to Pearl. Pearl takes on many symbols and serves great purpose.
At first, it is evident Hester is mindful of Pearl’s father, since she will not reveal who is, an act that would submit him to shame as well. Hester isolates herself in sin; therefore, she isolates herself in the distant cottage. When Governor Bellingham attempts to move Pearl elsewhere, Hester knows she can depend on Dimmesdale to convince him otherwise because Dimmesdale is the father. Because Dimmesdale has assisted her, Hester concludes “there lay a responsibility upon her, in reference to the clergyman” (Hawthorne 125). Likewise, when they are by the brookside, it is confessed Hester “still so passionately” loves Dimmesdale.
In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, most of the audience sees the main protagonist, Hester Prynne, as a symbol of early feminism. This novel takes place in a Puritan society, and their interpretation of the Bible is very strict. Along with their strict interpretation of the Bible, they have very stern norms on the roles of women, and during this time, women were still considered to be greatly inferior to men. Throughout the novel, the reader can see the way Hester is constantly judged for committing adultery, whereas the man she committed adultery with is not judged the same way; in fact, his identity is unknown at first. Hester Prynne is, in the words of John Updike, “is a mythic version of every woman’s attempt to integrate
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, revolved around the life of the protagonist, Hester Prynne, a woman shunned by society due to her sinful rendezvous with a man other than her husband whom was later revealed to be a beloved minister, Arthur Dimmesdale. As a result of the affair a child named Pearl was conceived. A token of red shaped into the letter “A”, the scarlet letter, became embroidered onto Hester’s chest symbolizing her misdeed while reminding society of her offense. Hawthorne addresses the struggles that women during the 19th century were confronting and exhorts his position on immoral actions: with evil comes great virtue. In this case, Hester represents a virtue character to balance the evil.