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The Scarlet Letter: a Character Analysis of Hester Prynne
- Subject: Literature
- Category: Books
- Essay Topic: Hester Prynne
- Published: 10 April 2019
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- Instructions Followed To The Letter
- Deadlines Met At Every Stage
- Unique And Plagiarism Free
- My Preferences
- My Reading List
- The Scarlet Letter
- Literature Notes
- Hester Prynne
- The Scarlet Letter at a Glance
- Book Summary
- About The Scarlet Letter
- Character List
- Summary and Analysis
- The Custom-House
- Character Analysis
- Arthur Dimmesdale
- Roger Chillingworth
- Character Map
- Nathaniel Hawthorne Biography
- Critical Essays
- Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter
- The Puritan Setting of The Scarlet Letter
- The Scarlet Letter as a Gothic Romance
- The Structure of The Scarlet Letter
- Famous Quotes from The Scarlet Letter
- Film Versions of The Scarlet Letter
- Full Glossary for The Scarlet Letter
- Essay Questions
- Practice Projects
- Cite this Literature Note
Character Analysis Hester Prynne
What is most remarkable about Hester Prynne is her strength of character. While Hawthorne does not give a great deal of information about her life before the book opens, he does show her remarkable character, revealed through her public humiliation and subsequent, isolated life in Puritan society. Her inner strength, her defiance of convention, her honesty, and her compassion may have been in her character all along, but the scarlet letter brings them to our attention. She is, in the end, a survivor.
Hester is physically described in the first scaffold scene as a tall young woman with a "figure of perfect elegance on a large scale." Her most impressive feature is her "dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam." Her complexion is rich, her eyes are dark and deep, and her regular features give her a beautiful face. In fact, so physically stunning is she that "her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the misfortune and ignominy in which she was enveloped."
Contrast this with her appearance after seven years of punishment for her sin. Her beautiful hair is hidden under her cap, her beauty and warmth are gone, buried under the burden of the elaborate scarlet letter on her bosom. When she removes the letter and takes off her cap in Chapter 13, she once again becomes the radiant beauty of seven years earlier. Symbolically, when Hester removes the letter and takes off the cap, she is, in effect, removing the harsh, stark, unbending Puritan social and moral structure.
Hester is only to have a brief respite, however, because Pearl angrily demands she resume wearing the scarlet A . With the scarlet letter and her hair back in place, "her beauty, the warmth and richness of her womanhood, departed, like fading sunshine; and a gray shadow seemed to fall across her." While her punishment changes her physical appearance, it has a far more profound effect on her character.
What we know about Hester from the days prior to her punishment is that she came from a "genteel but impoverished English family" of notable lineage. She married the much older Roger Chillingworth, who spent long hours over his books and experiments; yet she convinced herself that she was happy. When they left Amsterdam for the New World, he sent her ahead, but he was reportedly lost at sea, leaving Hester alone among the Puritans of Boston. Officially, she is a widow. While not a Puritan herself, Hester looks to Arthur Dimmesdale for comfort and spiritual guidance. Somewhere during this period of time, their solace becomes passion and results in the birth of Pearl.
The reader first meets the incredibly strong Hester on the scaffold with Pearl in her arms, beginning her punishment. On the scaffold, she displays a sense of irony and contempt. The irony is present in the elaborate needlework of the scarlet letter. There are "fantastic flourishes of gold-thread," and the letter is ornately decorative, significantly beyond the colony's laws that call for somber, unadorned attire. The first description of Hester notes her "natural dignity and force of character" and mentions specifically the haughty smile and strong glance that reveal no self-consciousness of her plight. While she might be feeling agony as if "her heart had been flung into the street for them all to spurn and trample upon," her face reveals no such thought, and her demeanor is described as "haughty." She displays a dignity and grace that reveals a deep trust in herself.
In this first scene, Dimmesdale implores her to name the father of the baby and her penance may be lightened. Hester says "Never!" When asked again, she says "I will not speak!" While this declaration relieves Dimmesdale and he praises her under his breath, it also shows Hester's determination to stand alone despite the opinion of society. Hester's self-reliance and inner strength are further revealed in her defiance of the law and in her iron will during her confrontation with the governor of the colony.
Despite her lonely existence, Hester somehow finds an inner strength to defy both the townspeople and the local government. This defiance becomes stronger and will carry her through later interviews with both Chillingworth and Governor Bellingham. Her determination and lonely stand is repeated again when she confronts Governor Bellingham over the issue of Pearl's guardianship. When the governor determines to take Pearl away from her, Hester says, "God gave me the child! He gave her in requital of all things else, which he had taken from me . . . Ye shall not take her! I will die first!" When pressed further with assurances of Pearl's good care, Hester defiantly pleads with him, "God gave her into my keeping. I will not give her up!" Here Hester turns to Dimmesdale for help, the one time in the novel where she does not stand alone.
Hester's strength is evident in her dealings with both her husband and her lover. Hester defies Chillingworth when he demands to know the name of her lover. In Chapter 4, when he interviews her in the jail, she firmly says, "Ask me not! That thou shalt never know!" In the forest scene, even Dimmesdale acknowledges that she has the strength he lacks. The minister calls on her to give him strength to overcome his indecisiveness twice in the forest and again as he faces his confession on Election Day.
What is the source of this strength? As she walks out on the scaffold at the beginning of the novel, Hester determines that she must "sustain and carry" her burden forward "by the ordinary resources of her nature, or sink with it. She could no longer borrow from the future to help her through the present." Her loneliness is described in the Chapter 5 as she considers how she can support herself and Pearl, a problem that she solves with her needlework. Yet she continues to lack adult companionship throughout her life. She has nothing but her strength of spirit to sustain her. This inner calm is recognized in the changing attitude of the community when they acknowledge that the A is for "Able," "so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman's strength."
A second quality of Hester is that she is, above all, honest: She openly acknowledges her sin. In Chapter 17, she explains to Dimmesdale that she has been honest in all things except in disclosing his part in her pregnancy. "A lie is never good, even though death threaten on the other side!" She also explains to Chillingworth that, even in their sham of a marriage, "thou knowest that I was frank with thee. I felt no love, nor feigned any." She kept her word in carrying her husband's secret identity, and she tells the minister the truth only after she is released from her pledge. This life of public repentance, although bitter and difficult, helps her retain her sanity while Dimmesdale seems to be losing his.
Finally, Hester becomes an angel of mercy who eventually lives out her life as a figure of compassion in the community. Hester becomes known for her charitable deeds. She offers comfort to the poor, the sick, and the downtrodden. When the governor is dying, she is at his side. "She came, not as a guest, but as a rightful inmate, into the household that was darkened by trouble." Yet Hester's presence is taken for granted, and those that she helps do not acknowledge her on the street.
Hawthorne attributes this transformation to her lonely position in the world and her suffering. No friend, no companion, no foot crossed the threshold of her cottage. In her solitude, she had a great deal of time to think. Also, Hester has Pearl to raise, and she must do so amid a great number of difficulties. Her shame in the face of public opinion, her loneliness and suffering, and her quiet acceptance of her position make her respond to the calamities of others.
In the end, Hester's strength, honesty, and compassion carry her through a life she had not imagined. While Dimmesdale dies after his public confession and Chillingworth dies consumed by his own hatred and revenge, Hester lives on, quietly, and becomes something of a legend in the colony of Boston. The scarlet letter made her what she became, and, in the end, she grew stronger and more at peace through her suffering.
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Character Analysis of The Scarlet Letter
Emotions instigate actions throughout a person’s life. Whether a person chooses to act upon their feelings reflects their true character. In the novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne explains the qualities of human emotions through his characters. Each of his characters represents a moral quality in which people can relate to through their own lives. Throughout the novel, Hawthorne reveals his character's conflicting emotions and hearts. Hester Prynne masks her shame and attempts to resume her normal life. After being publicly humiliated for committing the transgression of adultery, Hester continues her life with a stronger personality. At first, Hester is ashamed of herself and of the direct proof of her sin, Pearl. However, after coping with her sin and allowing herself time to realize her mistake, she believes the “ badge of shame ” (Hawthorne 58) will teach her daughter and benefit her. She embraces her punishment in order to purify herself. Hester grows stronger from her transgression by learning to endure the humiliation and move on with a bigger purpose: raising her daughter. To Hester, Pearl “is [her] happiness--[her] torture” (60) and continues to be her only anchor. Hawthorne describes Hester as “self-ordained a Sister of Mercy” (104) where her scarlet letter is no longer perceived as an icon for her sin, but rather a “symbol of her calling” (104). After conquering her shame, she learns to help others--those who had fallen -- recover from their own conflicts. Hester still lives with the shame of her sin every time she looks at her daughter, but manages to beat the pain and guilt that tries to overwhelm her. Roger Chillingworth is consumed by rage and driven by an evil vengeance. Upon returning to his wife aft... ... middle of paper ... ...r Dimmesdale to die because he must repent for his sin by appealing to God. Hawthorne explains the only source of peace Dimmesdale can achieve is through death. The novel proves to identify the human traits many experience throughout their life. Hester portrays the strength that results from ruination and accomplishes her individuality from her isolation. Chillingworth is the driven vengeance that ultimately consumes all, including himself. Dimmesdale represents the consequences of burgeoning guilt and the struggle to atone for one’s mistakes. Hawthorne depicts the harsh realities of life and the lessons learned throughout it and sets the novel as a guide. Ultimately, Hawthorne illustrates his characters to further prove his take of life and the lessons which can be learned. Works Cited Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter . Simon & Brown, 2010. Print.
In this essay, the author
- Analyzes how nathaniel hawthorne explains the qualities of human emotions through his characters in the scarlet letter.
- Analyzes how hester prynne masks her shame and attempts to resume her normal life after being publicly humiliated for committing the transgression of adultery.
- Analyzes how roger chillingworth is consumed by rage and driven by an evil vengeance when he discovers his wife's infidelity.
- Analyzes how arthur dimmesdale is overwhelmed with shame and self-loathing and is conflicted with the truth of his sin.
- Analyzes how dimmesdale continues to endure the silence and the pain of burdening guilt. he furthers his suffering by physically mutilating his body to become closer to god.
- Analyzes how hawthorne depicts the harsh realities of life and the lessons learned throughout it and sets the novel as a guide.
- Analyzes how nathaniel hawthorne, of the scarlet letter, expressed ideas of love, passion, shame, and punishment throughout his 1800s based novel.
- Analyzes how hester prynne is treated as a woman of shame, despite her promise to keep the secret of the father of her daughter pearl. she is despised by almost everyone and tries to hide.
- Analyzes how hester was publicly shamed, while arthur dimmesdale, who was also to blame for the adultery crime, was fighting within himself.
- Analyzes how the scarlet letter took the main character, hester prynne through struggles and made her into a strong woman that no one believed she could ever be.
- Analyzes how hester prynne's sin of adultery causes her to become the most hated woman in her community. she believes that her husband, roger chillingworth, is dead until he arrives at her public shaming.
- Analyzes how hester prynne's strength persists throughout the novel, even though the women and all the other citizens of the town constantly throw insults and shame at her, but she never breaks.
- Analyzes how hester prynne humbles herself by proudly displaying both of the symbols of her disgrace: the scarlet letter a, and pearl, her sin-born daughter.
- Analyzes how hester shows loyalty towards numerous characters in her community. she remains loyal to dimmesdale every time she is asked to reveal the name of her secret lover.
- Analyzes how nathaniel hawthorne's the scarlet letter introduces themes that recur in several settings and serve as metaphors for the underlying conflicts.
- Analyzes how hawthorne uses words like "sad colored" and "gray, steeple crowned hats" to describe the town's clothing. the prison stands for sin and an authority that does not condone the deviance from the puritanical severity of law.
- Analyzes how hester prynne, a self-ordained sister of mercy, is introduced as an adulterer by the scarlet letter 'a' placed strategically for all to see and serves solely for humiliation.
- Analyzes how hester's daughter, pearl, is the living symbol of the scarlet letter and has unique traits that make her sometimes appear as a demon.
- Analyzes how the two conflicting groups of symbols show a great deal of hypocrisy among the puritans.
- Analyzes how hawthorne uses the images of roads and paths in the story to illustrate the limited freedom one has in a puritanical society.
- Analyzes how hawthorne's use of "imperfect" sky and sun depicts the weakness of sunshine.
- Analyzes how chillingsworth, the absent husband of hester prynne, is referred to as both the devil and a leech throughout his attendance in the story.
- Analyzes how hawthorne's scarlet letter is tragically, yet realistically romantic because it delves deep into the human heart and explores the character’s dedication to religion.
- Analyzes how the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne and speak by laurie halse anderson are examples of authors who master the art of capturing emotions within the characters.
- Analyzes how nathaniel hawthorne, of the scarlet letter, describes the feeling of deceit using the main characters.
- Analyzes how chillingworth's deceit and reaction is the polar opposite of the reaction from hester prynne.
- Analyzes how laurie anderson used a different route to make her main character, melinda, feel of deceit real to the reader.
- Analyzes how hawthorne used arthur dimmesdale as an example of how people feel despair in a time when their future looks melancholy and oppressive.
- Analyzes how anderson used melinda's despair to explain how a person reacts with despair when trouble times are thrust upon them.
- Analyzes how hawthorne fashioned hester prynne as an example of how closely deceit, despair, and dejection concur with each other and how a person responds.
- Analyzes how anderson's approach to dejection and how her character responded is slightly different from hawthorne’s hester prynne.
- Analyzes how hawthorne and anderson ensnared the feelings of deceit, despair, and dejection into their extraordinary characters.
- Analyzes how the scarlet letter, written by nathaniel hawthorne, records a struggled life about two adultery lovers.
- Explains that nathaniel hawthorne, one of the famous writers in united states, was born in salem, massachusetts 1804. his father died in 1808 when he was only 4 years old.
- Analyzes how nathaniel hawthorne's "the scarlet letter" uses symbols and romanticism to display his thoughts on human nature and the corruption of puritan society.
- Analyzes how hawthorne's sagacious perception revealed the dark and ugly side of the puritan society and remonstrated the unfairness under the laws.
- Opines that nathaniel hawthorne is the soul of american literature and will be last for many years.
- Describes nathaniel hawthorne's the scarlet letter about a young lady named hester and her life when she is sent to new england by her husband to establish their life while he is wrapping unfinished affairs back in europe.
- Analyzes how hester prynne commits the sin of adultery with an unknown man in chapter 2: the market place.
- Analyzes how dimmesdale, the reverend, is a man of high power and looked upon by all the people of the village.
- Analyzes how dimmesdale is making an intimation at hester to get her to admit he is the father of her child. he falls ill due to the guilt of his concealed sin of adultery.
- Analyzes how chillingworth's plan to torture his mistress, hester prynne, is based on the fact that he is the husband whose wife was unfaithful
- Analyzes how the scarlet letter shows us the inauspicious ways that people have sinned and what their actions to the situation are.
- Analyzes how the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne may be viewed through many different lenses, but hester prynne, arthur dimmesdale and roger chillingworth project moral values in a powerful description of good and evil.
- Analyzes how hester lives with disgrace and is always mocked by the townspeople. reverend dimmesdale suffers for not being true to himself.
- Analyzes how dimmesdale was too cowardly to stand on the scaffold during the day and to acknowledge his part in the sin like hester did every single day.
- Narrates how after being captured by the indians, he finds hester on the scaffold, with her child pearl.
- Opines that the father wants to keep it a secret until he can find out who his father is.
- Describes the sin he committed. he had spent last seven years of his life torturing.
- Analyzes how hawthorne points out how hiding one's sin can lead to a personal downfall. reverend dimmsdale hides his sin from the public and becomes consumed with guilt.
- Explains that hester brought warmth to him but chillingworth has a symbol in his name. chill means cold hearted and that he's an evil man.
- Analyzes how hester's husband does all of this because he has nothing else to live for but revenge and secrecy.
- Analyzes how chillingworth does very little with the rest of his life, and dies a year after the death of the reverend.
- Analyzes how hester prynne, the central character in the scarlet letter, realizes and accepts the consequences of the adulterous act she committed against her husband, roger chillingworth.
- Analyzes how hester's sin results from her own actions. she wears humble, dismal clothes, moves to the outskirts of her town, and embraces her crime.
- Analyzes how hester dwells upon the letter as a symbol of her guilt. the brilliant crimson "a" resides on her humbly clothed chest; pearl, the child of sin, runs beside her mother.
- Analyzes how society sees hester for her talents as a weaver, not as an outcast. even roger chillingworth, the man she wronged, doesn't believe that her crime merits such punishment as the letter.
- Analyzes how the quote reveals the determination and strength of hester prynne. she fully accepts and endures the consequences of her adultery, yet she increases those consequences by her own hand through her willing exclusion from society.
- Explains that identity is the conception, qualities, beliefs, and expressions that make the individuality of a human being. hester prynne is charged with adultery in massachusetts during the seventeenth century.
- Analyzes how hester's guilt forces her to wear the letter "a" after the scaffold. her religion and her viewpoints fuel the fire of her guilt.
- Analyzes how boston's "mean girl" attitude towards hester makes her feel inferior because she had an affair.
- Analyzes how hester's confidence makes her a stronger individual. even with the scarlet letter on her bosom, she believes that she can raise pearl right.
- Compares hester's identity and personality to the physical scarlet letter on her bosom. the views of the puritan society pale to nothing compared to her actual identity.
- Analyzes how nathaniel hawthorne's the scarlet letter uses character development to show how a person can change for better or worse.
- Analyzes how hester begins to develop a stronger and more rebellious attitude, which can be seen by the way she decorates the 'a' that represents the grave sin of adultery.
- Analyzes how mr. dimmesdale undergoes major changes due to his sin. he becomes weaker physically and his religious speeches become even stronger so that his congregation begins to revere him.
- Analyzes how mr. chillingworth is a good person but devious because he changes his name. he becomes close to reverend dimmesdale and is issued to take care of him due to his sick state.
- Analyzes how hawthorne makes hester, dimmesdale, and chillingworth real to the reader through their development giving you a better sense of his characters.
- The Scarlet Letter
- Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Hester Prynne
- Badge of shame
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Of all the characters in The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, the protagonist, is the strongest and most courageous. But, that is not to say that she is unsusceptible to change. Over the course of the novel, Hester remains unchanged in some areas, such as strength and honesty, but her beauty and social status vary greatly.
One trait that defines Hester throughout the novel is strength. Strength in the mind and also in the heart is what makes Hester a striking person in a gloomy society.
This strength was inside of her all along, but it is the scarlet letter that eventually brings it to our attention. During the first scaffold scene, Nathaniel Hawthorne notes her “natural dignity and force of character.” Her poise under scrutiny is remarkable during this significant scene. Her might is also evident in her dealings with both her husband, Roger Chillingworth, and also her lover, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester repeatedly denies Chillingworth the satisfaction of knowing her fellow sinner.
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And in the forest scene, Dimmesdale acknowledges that she has the strength he lacks and he calls on her help in his time of need. Also, she shows honesty by openly recognizing her sin, unlike Dimmesdale who hides and is weakened. Hester is beautiful not only on the inside, but also physically attractive on the outside.
Hester’s corporal beauty is first mentioned during the original scaffold scene, when she is described as a tall young woman with a “figure of perfect elegance on a large scale.” Her most imposing feature is her elegant glossy hair, which is let loose and blows freely in the wind.
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Seven years after her punishment for her sin though, that beauty is gone. Her glossy hair is hidden under a cap and her warmth is diminished, buried under the elaborate scarlet letter. When she does eventually remove the emblem, she instantly regains the beauty she possessed earlier. Pearl, unhappy with her mother’s change, demands that she reattach the scarlet “A”. Although the letter does cloud her beauty, it does gain her a respect in the Puritan society through time.
Directly after being punished during the first scaffold scene, Hester and Pearl and remove from society. They are forced to live on the outskirts of town, surviving by her skill with a thread and needle. Honesty does prevail; Hester openly acknowledges her sin and done not attempt to hide it. For this, the townspeople begin to admire her and increasingly reaccept her into society. Being as strong as she is, Hester does not need the recognition because she is content with herself. In the end, Dimmesdale dies after his public confession and Chillingworth dies consumed by his own hatred and revenge, but Hester lives on, quietly, and becomes something of a legend in the colony. Through peace and satisfaction, Hester journeys from a normal young woman living in Puritan society, to a social outcast residing on the outskirts of the forest; then, as though a reward from God, she rises above all others and into the hearts of many, sharing her compassion and giving strength to all that remember her.
In conclusion, Hester’s strength remains untainted throughout The Scarlet Letter, while her physical beauty and social status alter greatly, both for the good and bad. Hester, as beautiful as she is, cannot be perfect. But her honesty, compassion, and strength are more than enough to relieve her soul.
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Character Analysis of Hester Prynne
The righteous hester prynne of nathaniel hawthorne's the scarlet letter.
- 2 Works Cited
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us," stated Oliver Wendell Holmes. This eventually proves to be especially true for Hester Prynne, the main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Hester Prynne, a fair young maiden whose husband had disappeared two years prior to the opening of the novel, has an affair with the pastor of her Puritan church, resulting in the birth of her child Pearl. Because of this act of adultery, Hester Prynne is branded by the scarlet letter "A," which she is forced to forever wear upon her attire. The plot thickens as Hester's former husband returns to New England and becomes
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The Scarlet Letter is a novel that took place in the 17th century, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The heartbreaking story of the main character, Hester Prynne dispersed the reader's’ thoughts. Hester Prynne suffered from adultery, where she had a child without father’s presence and support. Hester also suffered from bullying, where she was conjectured by superior people in the Puritan Legacy. The Scarlet Letter illustrated many bullying examples throughout certain chapters of the book.
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Hester Prynne from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter is a unique character. She shows a lot of strength. Hawthorne creates a Puritan Society who isolates Hester, which made her a character of her own uniqueness. Hester is a woman of strength, compassion, and honesty.
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In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is portrayed as an adulterous woman, having a child out of wedlock. She is forced to display her terrible sin publicly by wearing a letter A the color of scarlet. Though she is seen by the Puritans as sinful, she displays many of the virtues stated in Proverbs 31. Hester Prynne shows moral excellence as well as righteousness and goodness despite being wrought with sin.
Analysis Of Hester Prynne In The Scarlet Letter
In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne develops the dynamic characterization of Hester Prynne from a beautiful, innocent girl into a somber, hardened women to showcase the evils and hypocrisy of Puritan New England’s culture of shaming. Hawthorne employs rhetorical devices such as metaphor and juxtaposition to further develop the characterization and his critique of Puritan society. When initially describing Hester, Hawthorne emphasizes her incredible beauty, and juxtaposes this with the other ugly, judging Puritan women, adding to the hypocrisy of her being shamed for sinning. Hawthorne emphasizes the verbal assault on Hester by employing metaphor and imagery in its description. After the community shuns and shames Hester for years, Hawthorne uses metaphor again to show how Hester’s body and character changes for the worst, emphasizes the malice and evil of public shame.
Hester Prynne As A True Hero
In The Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne is more than a literary figure in a classic novel, she is known by some people to be one of the earliest American Hero’s. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Hester commits adultery and has a child that she must care for all alone. She is forced to wear a powerful, attention grabbing “Scarlet A” on her chest while she must try to make a living to support her and her child, Pearl. Even though she must face all the harsh judgment and stares she does not allow her sin to stop her from living a successful life. She looks past the Letter as a symbol of sin and turns it into a sign of approval. Hester
Quotes On Hester Prynne
Hester Prynne -- adulteress and sinner, but also strong, courageous and kind. She lives with the first two words as her identity, with the scarlet “A” as her name tag; A reminder to everyone and herself of her sins. In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne; Hawthorne expresses his belief that everyone has an equal potential for sin, what causes people to be different from each other is how they react to their sin. The sins committed by people can affect them differently than how it may affect another person. Sin is not something that everyone feels the same way about. Lucius Annaeus Seneca makes a point saying that: “The first step in a person's salvation is knowledge of their sin”. There is no way we can resolve our sins alone. We can only acknowledge our sin and repent; We can try to be the best versions of ourselves but sin does not just disappear. It is a daily trouble everyone’s life, sin changes every person from the individual they are supposed to be. For example, Hester accepts what she has one and tries to move on and redeem herself by helping the poor and raising her daughter. On the contrary, Chillingsworth dwells in his sins and submits to what he had done making him become dark and satan-like. He no longer can recognize admirability, he has a focused on revenge and hate. There are also people comparable to Dimmesdale, who hide their sins in shame of what they have done, unable to move on.
Individualism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay
Often in society people are criticized, punished and despised for their individual choices and flaws. In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author uses Hester Prynne to symbolize that those who challenge social conformities can benefit society as a whole. Though she has been banished for committing adultery, she sees that the community needs her. Through her generous accomplishments the community realizes she is a person who, regardless of her sin, can affect the community in a positive way.
Theme of Vengeance in The Scarlet Letter Essay
The harsh townspeople force her up on the scaffold to be humiliated in front of the whole town. Not only is she sent up on the scaffold with her sin revealed by the “A” for everyone to see, Hester becomes an example of what a woman should not come to be. The author is talking about Hesters experience on the scaffold and her pregnancy, “Throughout them all, giving up her individuality, she would become the general symbol at which the preacher and moralist might point, and in which they might vivify and embody their images of woman's frailty and sinful passion”(32). Hester looses her individuality and is labeled by the townspeople and known for the Scarlet Letter. Further, the townspeople singled her out as an alien or outcast of the town forcing her to live an abnormal live. She was ridiculed and known for her one sin, unable to have acceptance back into society. Although the townspeople feel as if Hester has brought sin upon there lives, she clearly have not harmed any of the townspeople physically, and they have no grounds to punish Hester. The cause of the townspeople's harsh disciplinary acts on Hester originates from a strict, unrealistic standards of puritan society and the zero tolerance of any ungodly behavior observed in the town. Due to the absence of proper justice, Hester's sentencing is left up to the harsh townspeople in which they show no mercy or
The Signigicance of the Scaffold Scenes in the Scarlet Letter
In the first scaffold scene Hester Prynne is depicted standing alone while clutching her baby. She has been sentenced to the scaffold for three hours to face public condemnation. In the Puritan society, where this novel is set, public shame is a source of entertainment. On this occasion the townspeople are present to watch the judgment of Hester.
Who Is The Protagonist In The Scarlet Letter
Hester Prynne is a protagonist in the novel " The Scarlet Letter" She is described as a young tall women, with dark and glossy hair. So beautiful that "her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the misfortune and ignominy in which she was enveloped." Hester Prynne suffers public humiliation, forced to wear the scarlet letter for the sin she has done. She then hides her beauty and sin underneath a cap for seven years. All the people who surround her look down on her and shame her, but after a long while. People begin to feel bad for her, telling her to remove the scarlet letter. Though, Hester disagrees and keeps the scarlet letter on. Leaving her with a burden on her back reminding her and the people for what she did. Hester continues with her
The Character of Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter Essay
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Hester Prynne, a character within The Scarlet Letter, is a prime example of Hawthorne's common transformation of individuals within his books. These mutations involve the qualities and attributes of her physical appearance, feminine emotions, and reputation among the townspeople. Throughout the novel, the mentioned elements of Hester's character develop and change several times, providing the reader with better understanding of the influence that the scarlet letter and other characters have on her.
Puritanism, Romanticism And Transcendentalism In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne
Hester Prynne, who is best known for her act of adultery and the scarlet letter she wears upon her breast, best represents a mix of Romanticism and Puritanism. Introduced in the beginning of the book, she automatically is outcast from the rest, not only because of her act of adultery and sin, but from her obvious different way of thinking. After Hester’s baby named Pearl is born, she can especially be shown to have more of a Romantic way of thought as she raises
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- Hester Prynne
- Nathaniel Hawthorne
- John Winthrop
- Badge of shame
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The Scarlet Letter Character Analysis Essay
Emotions spill in kate chopin's the scarlet letter.
In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening protagonist Edna Pontellier is said to possess “That outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions.” In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is a character who outwardly conforms while question inwardly. Prynne is humiliated and is publicly shamed by wearing the scarlet letter upon her bosom for seven years by everyone. Going through that horrible journey she begins to question Pearl inwardly. Although some may claim that Roger Chillingworth is the best character represented by this statement, Prynne would most definitely relate more especially with the forceful marriage.
The Pearl Of Great Price In The Scarlet Letter
Pearl, a precious and valuable object that ironically starts off from an object of no value; a parasite or simply a grain of sand that invades the oyster. The allusion to The Pearl of Great Price in The Scarlet Letter means that Pearl is of high value, Hester is seeking a holy life, and due to Pearl, Hester can achieve that. From the commencement of The Scarlet Letter, readers are aware that Hester has a child, but no one knew she would become so influential to Hester and her life.
Pearl And Reverend Dimmesdale In Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter
The relationship between Pearl and Reverend Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter is one that both intrigues the reader and keeps them wanting to find out more. At the beginning of the story nothing is very clear about Pearl’s father but as you read on there are many cues that lead you to Reverend Dimmesdale, the pastor of the church where Pearl’s mother, Hester Prynne, was a member. Through all the twists and turns there are a few things that stick out in the readers mind such as the progression of their relationship, the behavior and psychology of Pearl and how the novel could be seen as a story almost all about Pearl.
How Does The Pearl Change In The Scarlet Letter
In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Pearl changes when different characters thoughts and believes are portrayed through voice or objects. This leads her to be very malleable to and be ever evolving. The townspeople, Hester, and Dimmesdale now play a key role in shaping Pearl from a product of sin into a god like child.
Juxtaposition In 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.
How Did The Scarlet Letter Change
The Scarlet Letter, a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, contains the motif of a red letter “A” that brings the story to life. The scarlet letter is an embroidered symbol which incorporates power in the novel. The scarlet letter upon Hester's bosom evolved and developed from something negative to something positive; from Hester, the villagers, Pearl, and Hawthorne, the views of the scarlet letter changed drastically.
Who Is Pearl In The Scarlet Letter
Pearl is the living embodiment of of the scarlet letter. Pearl constantly reminds Hester of her sins, without meaning to. Whenever she asks questions about Dimmesdale or about the scarlet letter, Hester is reminded of the things she did wrong. Pearl is very smart child, and she likes to ask questions and learn about things. If she sees something that confuses her, she will ask her mother about it. When she sees Dimmesdale repeatedly placing his hand over his heart, she asks her mother why he does that. Every time she asks, Hester is reminded of Dimmesdale and how their sin keeps them apart. Whenever Pearl asks about the letter that Hester wears, she is reminded of the reason she has to wear, even if she won’t tell Pearl the real
Symbolism Of Pearl In Scarlet Letter
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. In The Scarlet Letter is merely a symbol in the story, her function is to remind Hester of her sin which affects her role in the story to become more antagonistic to Hester.
Theme Of Isolation In Scarlet Letter
The place of isolation can become the place of revelation. The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the story of Hester Prynne's life after having a child, Pearl, while her husband, Roger Chillingworth, was away and having to live with an A on her chest for adultery. The father of the child, Arthur Dimmesdale, had to live with the guilt and beat himself because of it and the truth remained a secret to almost everyone, except Chillingworth, who planned to get revenge on him because of his sin. Chillingworth became evil and changed because he wanted revenge on Dimmesdale and the guilt made Dimmesdale feel sick. Dimmesdale died after he told everyone the truth and Pearl gained a sense of compassion when she saw him dying. Isolation has a powerful affect is a recurring theme in The Scarlet Letter displayed through Hester, Pearl and DImmesdale.
Pearl Symbolism In Scarlet Letter
In the beginning of the book, Hawthorne uses Pearl as a way to constantly remind Hester of her sin and as a link between the secret relationship of Hester
Honesty In Scarlet Letter
Children have an undeniable amount of innocent honesty. In the novel, “The Scarlet Letter”, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the protagonist Hester Prynne is faced with a moral combat of adultery in puritan new england, bearing a daughter from her forbidden doing. There is a large amount of symbolism throughout this story that is played out through children. Hawthorne highlights Pearl, the product of Hester’s sin, as having a perverse, unnerving amount of bold knowledge, unlike that of the children her age. When properly raised, young people develop essential and personable traits to help them mature into adults. There are some communication skills that can only be learned through trial and error process, and those skills help children to grow into
Pearl In Elie Wiesel's Pearl
Pearl, throughout the book, shows everyone in a new light. Through the eyes of a child, filled with understanding. Wanting to learn more about the people around her, lets us also get to read more of them in depth. Making Pearl essential to the book, from her birth giving the main plot of the story, to her being treated by the millionairess elders of the town, and finally being awaken into the new world, through so many deaths.
Rhetorical Analysis Of The Scarlet Letter
Rhetorical Analysis: Comment briefly (3 to 5 sentences?) on the rhetorical elements below. The purpose of this section is to highlight the book’s distinctive features.
Third Year Questions For The Scarlet Letter
Many times Pearl is portrayed as innocent and full of light. Why does Hawthorne then describe her as witch-like and how does this relate to the theme of the human tendency to transgress?
Meaning Of Letter A In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter
Most readers are entangle in the meaning of the letter A, only adulatory of Hester Prynne? No, it is not that simple. Firstly, the letter A is represent angel. Hester Prynne didn’t harbor a deep resentment for the punishment and abuses, instead of that she still treated nice and gentle to others. Secondly, it is able. Hester lived alone with her “only treasure”, Pearl, after she came out from the jail. Everybody feel disgusted and shamed for her at distance so that Hester Prynne did not have way to get work. In the case, she started doing needlework to get enough food and did housework by herself. She didn’t feel hopeless but lived positively and also gave happiness to little Pearl. However, when readers comprehend the letter A in the book usually give its meaning as adultery. And what is the reaction of Hester Prynne? Will she forgive herself? With expected, she won’t since the alive letter around her – litter Pearl, who is sometimes a angel and sometimes a evil, whose and also, she was uninhabited and capricious: She was a live scarlet letter. However, she could puncture a fallacy with one remark. These two, little Pearl and the letter A could be called as indispensable and necessary condition in The Scarlet Letter. They are two main threads
More about The Scarlet Letter Character Analysis Essay
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A+ Student Essay
Is The Scarlet Letter a feminist novel?
Although The Scarlet Letter was written in 1850, long before the emergence of what we now refer to as feminism, the novel amounts to a spirited, pre-feminist defense of women and women’s rights. Although modern readers might not immediately identify the tormented, cringing, sometimes self-loathing Hester Prynne as a feminist icon, that is exactly how Hawthorne portrays her. Whether directly or indirectly praising her behavior, Hawthorne holds her up as a model individual from whom both men and women should draw inspiration.
Hawthorne is not always straightforward in his depiction of Hester as a strong woman worthy of admiration. His tendency toward obfuscation, in combination with the now-archaic gender roles portrayed in The Scarlet Letter , misleads some readers into deciding that Hester is weak and her behavior inexplicable. But in fact, even those actions that might strike us as puzzlingly self-defeating become, upon closer reading, evidence of Hester’s strength. We may wonder why Hester stoically wears the symbol of her adultery on her chest instead of ripping it off, but Hawthorne suggests that she appropriates the letter A, making it her own and turning it into a symbol not of her adultery, but of her many abilities. We may wonder why Hester remains in the midst of the people who have treated her so badly, but Hawthorne argues that by staying in town, she shows that she does not have to run away from her past in order to transcend it. Even when the narrator expresses disapproval of Hester’s actions, an undercurrent of approval runs beneath it. For example, the narrator’s purported condemnation of Hester’s increasing coldness and self-reliance is mitigated by a strong sense that he understands and appreciates the reasons she has changed.
If Hawthorne is often reserved in his praise of Hester, however, he is just as often lavish with it. He portrays those who judge her, male and female alike, as coarse hypocrites. He turns our attention to Mistress Hibbins, forcing us to recognize the insanity of a society that tolerates an unrepentant, devil-worshipping witch on the one hand, yet banishes an adulterous woman on the other hand. He asks us to compare Hester’s strength, openness, and loyalty with Dimmesdale’s cowardly silence and Chillingworth’s nearly psychotic quest for revenge. He has Dimmesdale state explicitly that adultery is practically meaningless compared to the evil of vengefulness, a statement that casts Hester as a martyr at the hands of society in general and Chillingworth in particular. Hawthorne stresses that in the face of unbearably cruel treatment, Hester responds with laudable strength and humility.
Of course, Hawthorne never would have used the word feminist to describe Hester Prynne. Yet if a modern reader described a feminist as someone who believes that women have rights, Hawthorne would likely agree that Hester fits the description. His tapestry of approval for Hester’s actions, which he weaves from both quiet and bold colors, provides a picture of what strong pro-woman sentiment looked like in the days before feminism existed.
The Scarlet Letter SparkNotes Literature Guide
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