Analysis Of Hester Prynne

Decent Essays
“Virtue” is a complicated word to work with. The literal definition is simply someone who has high moral standards, is decent, or just. However, when talking about people, specifically women, it is usually just about being a virgin. But if this essay was just about whether or not Hester is a virgin, it would be less than a paragraph. Hester Prynne, by literal definition is a virtuous woman based on her physical appearance, the way she lives her life, and her loyalty. When the reader is first introduced to Hester, she is described as “...tall, with a figure of perfect elegance on a large scale. She had dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam, and a face which, besides being beautiful from regularity of…show more content…
So, rather than leaving the town where her sin took place and starting over somewhere new, she chooses to stay and live out her punishment for the rest of her life, taking responsibility for her actions. “Here, she said to herself, had been the scene of her guilt, and here should be the scene of her earthly punishment.” She provides for herself and her daughter by making nice clothes for the upper-class people in her town. When she has extra clothing to spare, she donates it to the poor. Despite the fact that she is providing a service for people and is kind to the poor, the town continues to look down on her because of her adultery: “The poor, as we have already said, whom she sought out to be the objects of her bounty, often reviled the hand that was stretched forth to succor them. Dames of elevated rank, likewise, whose doors she entered in the way of her occupation, were accustomed to distil drops of bitterness into her heart...” Many people would try to defend themselves against these personal attacks and tell the antagonizers that they are wrong, but not Hester, because she ultimately believes that she deserves any snide remark that the town throws at her. This humbleness that she shows is another example of why she is a honorable woman.
Except for the adultery incident, Hester is very loyal. Although she was not asked to, she keeps the fact that Dimmesdale is the father of Pearl a secret to save him from punishment, and he seems to appreciate it: “ ‘She will not speak!’ murmured Mr. Dimmesdale, who, leaning over the balcony, with his hand upon his heart, had awaited the result of his appeal. He now drew back, with a long respiration. ‘Wondrous strength and generosity of a woman’s
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