The Virtue Of Hester Prynne In The Scarlet Letter

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The Virtue of Hester Prynne In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s highly acclaimed novel, The Scarlet Letter, a Puritan town’s reaction is described after Hester Prynne raises a scandal that goes against the town’s religious views. The Puritans believe the Bible should be translated into their life and that God should be the center of it. Many of them think of Hester as a sinful woman without virtue. They treat her as an outcast and consider that she is somehow affiliated with the Devil. However, after reading Proverbs 31 and analyzing the novel, a conclusion can be determined that Hester Prynne does in fact have virtue. One example in Proverbs 31 comes from line 24, which states “She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with…show more content…
In Proverbs 31, a verse is written that states “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life” (Prov. 31.12). Using Chillingworth was an example, the novel portrays him as changing for the worse because of what Hester did “With the superstition common to his brotherhood, he fancied himself given over to a fiend, to be tortured with frightful dreams, and desperate thoughts, the sting of remorse, and despair of pardon; as a foretaste of what awaits him beyond the grave” (Hawthorne 179). Also, Dimmesdale could be used as another example to support the claim that Hester is not virtuous. Dimmesdale’s deteriorating condition is told “While thus suffering under bodily disease, and gnawed and tortured by some black trouble of the soul, and given over to the machinations of his deadliest enemy, the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale had achieved a brilliant popularity in his sacred office” (Hawthorne 146). Evidently, both men are changed by the actions of Hester. She brings them harm instead of good throughout her life. However, proving that Hester does not have virtue only has a small number of reasons to support it, while the claim that Hester exhibits virtue has many examples from both the Bible and the
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