Hester’s strong and bold personality makes the public shaming sustainable and has little effect on her. Dimmesdale’s weak nature, causing him to feel insecure and guilty, makes his punishment
Hester is forced to be paraded through the streets like a criminal, but in the townspeople 's eyes, she is a criminal. The following quote expresses how she feels when the entire town’s eyes are upon her burdened soul. “Measured by the prisoner 's experience, however, it might reckoned a journey of some length; for, haughty as her demeanor was, she perchance underwent an agony from every footstep of those that thronged to see her, as if her heart had been flung in the street for them all to spurn and trample upon.” (Hawthorne 52). She was both avoided and accosted as she walks the streets amongst the townspeople who are so quick to judge her. Through all of this, Hester still had the fortitude to continue on.
Dimmesdale committed a very severe sin, adultery with Hester, and this was even worse for him because he was a Puritan Minister. This resulted in Hester having a baby. He had to live a very secretive hypocritical life, preaching the word of God when he directly went against it himself and no one knew pearl was his child (ch. 11). This was like torture for Dimmsdale he even had to help in the shaming of Hester.
However, in The Scarlet Letter, after Hester had committed her sin of adultery and received her punishment (the “A”), the women were anything but polite. If Hester was seen in public, her existence was shunned, she was criticized, yelled at, and things were even thrown at her. In the Bible, which the Puritans strictly followed, Jesus said to his followers, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Instead of being merciful and kind towards Hester, the women were scornful and could care less about her. To repent for her sin, Hester started to commit herself to serving the less fortunate of the society, such as the poor. Although Hester started to act in a completely selfless way, she still received the same amount of hatred she did years ago when she stood upon the scaffold and received her scarlet letter.
Even going as far as to use The Puritan church, The Puritan people, and The Puritan religion, to help prove his point. His own grandfather was involved in the 1692 Salem Witch Trials as a judge, and wrote The Scarlet Letter and The Crusival in honor of his grandfather. Nathaniel Hawthorne put a lot of thought into each of his novels carefully planning were hypocrisy would be used. Therefore, he emphasized The Puritan people's hypocrisy because they were the most hypocritical of all the characters. Hypocrisy played the biggest role in The Scarlet Letter defining each character's qualities, exposing each of their sins, and informing the character of the corrupt
The Scarlet Letter, a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850, functions as an evaluation of Puritan ideas, customs, and culture during the 17th century. Through this evaluation, we can get a good idea of what core values and beliefs the Puritans possessed, as well as the actions they take in cases of adversity brought about by “sinners”. Some Puritan virtues created stark divisions between groups of people, some of which led to discrimination under certain circumstances. One of the most prominent of these is the treatment and standards of men and women, a concept that surfaced during some of the major points in The Scarlet Letter. The divisions that were created by Puritan standards of men and women played a great role in shaping the plot of The Scarlet Letter, determining the fate of many of the characters.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne vividly portrays the different ways people can deal with their failures. The story gives insight to each of our struggles between good and evil. Although failure is part of human nature, also is the ability to redeem
The townspeople gave Hester the punishment of wearing a scarlet letter “A” on her chest, and using her as an example of a transgressor. Hester’s husband hates her and for doing an adultery act while he was lost at sea. They both despise each other, for they think of betrayal. Though they both committed a wrong act. The puritan religion has strict beliefs, and anyone who lives in the town must follow all the strict rules.
He believes that Hester knowingly committed adultery with the intention of exposing Dimmesdale and upsetting Chillingworth. Lawrence claims, “Then, when [Hester has] brought him down, [she] humbly wipes off the mud with [her] hair, another Magdalen” (Lawrence). By comparing Hester to Mary Magdalene, a sinner who was later canonized as a saint,
She realized that everyone will eventually find out about the sin, so she became courageous and took responsibility for her action. After she had completed her punishment in prison, she moved to a cottage. Hester was guilty for what she had done, but she started to help the poor, even though they rejected her. The guilt deprived her from all the “joys [of life] [because] she rejected it as sin” (Hawthorne 130) Hester ceased enjoying anything that a normal person would think as amusing because it was wrong for her since she became the outcast of the town. Hester changed her attire to a plain, darkshade, with no designs, which corresponded to her emotions.