Guilty is one of two possible verdicts in court, yet shame often follows the person who committed the crime. Guilt and shame usually go hand in hand, yet, many deal with these similar feelings in different ways. Because of their differing personalities and roles in society, Hester and Dimmesdale from the novel “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne approach guilt and shame in contrasting and respective ways. In Hawthorne’s novel, we are told the story of Hester, an adulteress whom cheated on her husband, and Roger Chillingworth, who had not yet arrived to the new world. Hester, on the other hand, had arrived early. She cheated with a man by the name of Arthur Dimmesdale, a young priest. After doing so, Dimmesdale has to deal with guilt
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, a woman named Hester Prynne is found guilty of committing adultery. She lives in the Puritan settlement of Boston, Massachusetts where if the town’s laws are broken, the culprit suffers. Throughout the novel the Puritans ridicule and mock Hester for her actions. Through Hawthorne’s use of diction and imagery he exemplifies his disapproval for the unyielding religious punishments of the Puritans.
In the Dark Romantic Novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne conveys the theme that being surrounded by a negative influence can change a person for the worse through his use of recurring motifs, notably, the Scarlet Letter and its effect on Hester. When Hester and Dimmesdale meet in the forest, the two speak privately and honestly to one another for the first time in 7 years. They both decide that they wish to leave the puritanical society which has caused them so much ignominy and pain. With the decision made, Hester decides to throw the scarlet letter next to the brook. Upon doing so, she realizes that “the burden of shame and anguish departed from her spirit … she had not know the weight until she felt the freedom” (Hawthorne 199).
Hester Prynne, by many Puritans, was perceived as an adulterer after her heinous affair with an unknown man, who was later unveiled as an ordained Puritan minister, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. After her term of confinement for committing adultery, she was called on the scaffold, which she had her standing on for three hours under the judgmental stares, with her infant daughter, Pearl. And although she was given the chance to reveal the man she had an affair with by the Governor, she directly refused. Instead, she chose to keep mum and decided on staying on the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts, with an adorned letter of A pinned to her dress to separate her from the other Puritans.
In the book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester makes the right decision to remain in the town because by doing so she serves an example of why Puritan rationale is defective, and the town is where Dimmesdale lives.
The human desire to fight for rights is unavoidable. History has proven that people will always fight against a societal practice they deem unjust as shown during the abolition and suffrage movements. Although Hawthorne opposed abolitionists and feminists because he believed they would cause too much conflict and violence, he acknowledged that slavery was wrong and realized these movements were unstoppable. Nathaniel Hawthorne addresses the consequences of radical change in his book, The Scarlet Letter, through the sin of Hester Prynne. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne defies the Puritan society’s harsh laws by committing adultery and later redeems herself by becoming a helpful member of Puritan society. Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne has one objective throughout The Scarlet Letter: force the readers to fully comprehend how the themes of the book directly relate to Puritanical society. One of his most evident themes is individuality vs. conformity, and he make the distinction between the two abundantly clear through his extensive use of symbolism, imagery, and diction. He is able to illustrate the dichotomy between the two while still accurately portraying Puritanical life.
The hero is more than simply the protagonist of the story. The hero must have a struggle and overcome it, thus becoming a sensation in the community. In “The Scarlet Letter” written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the protagonist is Hester Prynne, whom is given a scarlet letter “A” as a punishment for committing adultery. Notwithstanding, she continues living her life as much as possible, bearing a bastard child. The novel is about Hester’s pain, along with the struggle that the society has because of her situation. The novel also explores the feeling of isolation that each of the characters face. In the end, Hester is greatly admired for her heroic characteristics. Hester Prynne is the heroine of “The Scarlet Letter” because of her courage, brave
The Scarlet Letter is an excellent book by Nathaniel Hawthorne, published in the year 1850. Considering that the 1850’s was more than 150 years ago, I wanted to relate this book to nowadays. Hester was not seen the same with her Scarlet Letter, and people felt ashamed of her. I began to think who wore their own “Scarlet Letter” in our generation. There are many people who commit sin or are looked down upon.
Traditionally, the female image tended to center on two opposite aspects. The first, based on religion, was that men and women were placed in unequal positions since the day God created them. Criticism of Eve’s decision to consume the forbidden fruit and the ease with which she was convinced into
In D. H Lawrence's passage “On The Scarlet Letter”, he downgrades Hester because he views her as a disgraceful person . The majority of the passage talks about how bad Hester is for sinning and she seduces men for her happiness. Lawrence uses keywords to make his idea about Hester clearer. He mocks her for her foolish actions. Lawrence uses repetition, mocking tone, and biblical allusion to critique Hester.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, the Puritan community exiles Hester Prynne for her adulterous actions, which, although they are sinful, ultimately lead to the betterment of Hester’s spirit and character through her time as an outcast. When Hester is sent to live in isolation away from the rest of the community, she is able to reflect upon her sinful actions, the consequences of which the scarlet letter on her breast constantly reminds her. Pearl is also a constant reminder to Hester of her evildoings, because Pearl is the direct result of Hester’s sinful relationship. Hawthorne portrays Pearl as the scarlet letter personified, as Reverend Dimmesdale declares, “Hath she
From the earliest accounts of human life, isolation has served as a defense mechanism for societies to exclude an individual or group who poses a threat to their contemporary perception of normal. Isolation is generally defined as a state of being separated from others. However, the barrier placed between social outcasts and society is far more than a simple physical barrier; it serves an emotional purpose. The results of limited social interaction can be extremely detrimental to an individual's psychological well-being . In order to survive, humans need to connect with others, and to be separated from communities causes one to question their importance in the world. Research suggests the absence of relationships correlates to an increase
6. “It was whispered, by those who peered after her, that the scarlet letter threw a lurid gleam along the dark passageway of the interior.” (67) is the last sentence of chapter three. Hawthorne uses this haunting sentence to make the statement that Hester Prynne can never relieve herself of her sin, and that she will always be constantly reminded of it, even in the dark. Hawthorne is also foreshadowing that the scarlet letter is much more powerful than it seems.
Feminist Adrienne Rich argues in her essay, “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision,” that there are drastic differences between the established gender roles in society. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hester, an adulteress and martyr, suffers from the strict grasp of Puritanism and patriarchy. Throughout the novel, Hester is a luxury to men, especially the revered minister and secret sinner, Dimmesdale, as well as her husband, Chillingworth. However, the rest of this male-dominated, Puritan society, or the world as she perceives it, is not a luxury for Hester, but a necessity. Thus, the relationship between Hester and the men in her society demonstrates and proves Rich’s argument regarding the distinctions between gender roles. In Rich’s essay, she states that “…historically men and women have played very different parts in each others’ lives” (Rich). Rich claims that women