A Role Model that Transcends Time Hester Prynne changed dramatically throughout the course of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter. Initially she was viewed as the antagonist and was a destructive character to those around her. After being confined in her cottage with Pearl, she began to develop a sense of who she needed to become in order to efficiently raise Pearl. Hester’s ability to do what was necessary for her improvement made her into a respectable role model for women to shadow. Hester chose to isolate she and Pearl to create a wave of self-improvement. Because of Hester’s mysterious, seductive, and rebellious actions, she demonstrated the characteristics of a byronic hero.
Although she is looked down upon by the society in the beginning of the novel, she is transformed into a symbol of strength, something typically reserved for men, towards the end of the novel. “The letter was the symbol of her calling. Such helpfulness was found in her,—so much power to do, and power to sympathize,—that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength” (Hawthorne 146). Through her suffering, Hester had become an inspiring symbol of strength for the community.
In the book ‘ the Scarlet Letter’ Hester Prynne makes a lot of mistakes in her life, but She is trying to fix what She messed up on. She does a crime that will forever change her life forever. She has a child with another guy. She is a sinner, but She is also an object because some of the stuff She done can never be taken back. Hester will do anything to get her life back in order.
Within the past year, the treatment and perceptions of women have been challenged due to the various marches and movements. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s romance, The Scarlet Letter, presents how women were viewed in a Puritan society, falling into a rigid dichotomy of either being the “saint” or “sinner.” This is otherwise known as the “Madonna/Whore complex,” which is explored through the life of the novel’s protagonist, Hyster Prynne. Her struggles and experiences through this dichotomy ultimately affect her both physically and emotionally as it represses her femininity.
Because even her name conjures up many conflicting thoughts, the true nature of Hester Prynne from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is heavily debated among critics. Mark Van Doren and D.H. Lawrence both assert their conflicting perspectives with a multitude of convincing devices, but D.H. Lawrence more effectively portrays Hester Prynne as an enemy through the use of thought-provoking allusions, critical diction and repetition, and an unconventional syntax in his essay, On Hester Prynne. Hester Prynne’s iniquity is foremost illustrated by Lawrence’s use of several biblical allusions. Although Hester shows benevolence throughout the novel and came to be respected in society, Lawrence asserts that this whole persona is a lie.
Hester Prynne is the very embodiment of feminism because of her refusal to adhere to the societal norms, her independence in thought, and how the view of the society around her changes through the novel. One of the main reasons why Hester Prynne is an important and progressive feminist character in The Scarlet Letter is her refusal to follow societal norms or to be put down by her peers. A primary example of her refusal to be put down by her peers is when Hester brandishes her
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.
The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was published in 1850. It focuses on the life of the main protagonist, Hester Prynne, living in a Puritan community. Both Yamin Wang and Maria Stromberg offer insight into The Scarlet Letter and analyze multiple aspects of the story.. Both Wang and Stromberg claim that there is an underlying ideology hidden in the texts of the book. Wang approaches the story from a feminist approach and states that Hester represents the feminism in the Puritan community, and she analyzes the Puritan’s outlook on women in their society.
Hawthorne says, “She has wandered, without rule or guidance, onto a moral wilderness. Her intellect and heart had their name, as it were in desert places, where she roamed as freely as the wild Indian in his woods,” Here, Hawthorne wants the audience to recognize Hester as a free spirit, one who can not be tamed. Hawthorne contrasts Hester (and other young women) with older Puritan women, “Morally, as well as materially, there was a fibre in those wives and maidens...representative of the sex.” This quote shows the elders as symbols for conformity; this specific quote also doubles as a paradox is the sense that the women of the society are the ones who must conform, yet they are the most critical of individuality. Hawthorne continues to portray Hester as a normal person who is unique, “But Hester Prynne, with a mind of native courage and activity, and for so long a period not merely estranged, but outlawed, from society had habituated herself to such latitude of speculation as was altogether foreign to the clergyman…the scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread.
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 many years of performing good deeds for the community the scarlet letter, and by extension Hester, was met with less hostility. Her influence is so great that many citizens start to believe the scarlet letter “...[now] meant Able…”(Hawthorne
Hester’s Challenge In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hester is a very strong and independent woman. She goes through all the judgement from the townspeople alone without anyone but Pearl by her side. Hester’s life becomes very tough after the scandal. Reverend Dimmesdale, the father of Pearl, does not assist Hester in the raising of Pearl; he only watches them from the outside.
These characteristics are brought forth by the scarlet letter. It is these same aspects of Hester that enable her to keep her sanity during her arduous time spent in isolation. Therefore, even though the scarlet “A” brings Hester great pain and suffering, it also transforms her in a way that allows her to withstand the burden that is brought on by the disgraceful symbol. As told by the narrator, "The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude!