The characters in the Scarlet Letter are judged greatly through how and who they are able and unable to forgive. Such as the main female lead, Hester Prynne, and her struggle for the town to forgive her, finding the will to forgive herself and having God forgive her. Although, this was hard because every day she had to live with the scarlet letter upon her chest as a reminder of her sin. Another character that had one of the roughest times in the novel was Arthur Dimmesdale. This man kept a sin hidden for most of the novel and let it eat him away. The person that Dimmesdale needed to forgivehim the most was Pearl. He spent most of the novel trying to earn her beloved trust. Pearl would ask him favors to go into town with her but it …show more content…
As it says in the book, “ If she entered a church, trusting to share the Sabbath smile of the Universal Father, it was often her mishap to find herself the text of the discourse.” (Hawthorne 95) Hester Prynne had to teach herself to be independent and the first step to that was forgiving herself, earning forgiveness of others, and earning God’s forgiveness. As the years passed, Hester’s kind acts she does for the town allowed them to forgive and forget her sins. She would always give clothing she made to the poor and that contributed to them forgiving her. Hester’s own self conscious was another factor she needed in her path to full forgiveness. She always believed she needed to wear her Scarlet Letter, this was her reminder of her sin everyday and it wasn’t till later in the novel where she doesn’t want to wear it anymore. Also, in the beginning of the novel Hester refused to leave the town because she believed she needed to be in the place her sin took place. In a way, Hester had found forgiveness in herself but on the other hand her actions show that she might still be in the process of completely forgiving. Hester’s actions in earning God’s forgiveness were very similar to the ones she completely when forgiving herself. She once again wouldn 't take off her Scarlet Letter and said that it would come off by itself when God wanted it to. Arthur Dimmesdale spent the majority of the novel going back and forth with himself trying to decide whether or not to
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
Hester Prynne’s sin was adultery. This sin was regarded very seriously by the Puritans, and was often punished by death. Hester’s punishment was to endure a public shaming on a scaffold for three hours and wear a scarlet letter "A" on her chest for the rest of her life in the town. Although Hawthorne does not pardon Hester’s sin, he considers it
Later in The Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale digs himself into a dark hole of shame and failure. At this point in the book Dimmesdale’s guilt has built up to an extreme amount he inflicts torment
In chapters 9-15 of The Scarlet Letter, the author decides to dedicate an entire chapter to each character. For example, on chapter 9, the chapter is dedicated to what happens with Roger. Roger becomes friends with Arthur Dimmesdale in chapter 9. Dimmesdale is sick, and he thinks Roger is kind and suspects nothing. But Roger, who is Arthur's personal physician, begins to suspect that Dimmesdale is hiding something from him. At this part of the book, we don't know what the author plans for Dimmesdale to hide, if he even is hiding anything at all.
However, Arthur Dimmesdale's confession is not as clear and resounding as he wants it to be. His shriek in the night was only loud to him because he partly wanted to confess, and he perhaps thought that in standing on the scaffold he was taking a huge step. When a person gets to this point, they have two options according to Hawthorne. Either go all the way in confessing or go half-heartedly into it, and if this path is taken, it is more likely to stay hidden. Dimmesdale, himself, does try keeping it hidden even longer since no one found him there that night. However this should be viewed as a failure of Dimmesdale's courage lacking for necessary confession, rather than character for repentance.
Without an honorable reputation a person is not worthy of respect from others in their society. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, the struggle to shake off the past is an underlying theme throughout the novel. Characters in this novel go through their lives struggling with trying to cope with the guilt and shame associated with actions that lost them their honorable reputation. Particularly, Hawthorne shows the lasting effect that sin and guilt has on two of the main characters in the book: Hester Prynne and Reverend Dimmesdale.
Guilt can destroy someone mentally. According to The Scarlet Letter, it can destroy someone physically as well. Dimmesdale is one of the main characters who chose to keep his sin a secret. Not only does he have to live with the knowledge and guilt of what he did, but he has to constantly pretend that he is more pure than he is. The people of the Puritan town tortured him in a way, because the large amount of praise they gave the minister just made him more guilty and remorseful. The novel The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne takes place in a 1600’s Puritan community named Massachusetts Bay Colony. Dimmesdale has had an affair with the main character, Hester Prynne. He never confessed to his actions, so he never suffered any direct consequences. Because of this, the puritan town’s view of Dimmesdale stays relatively the same throughout the novel, until the ending. Dimmesdale has been kept down heavily from the guilt and remorse brought from keeping his sin a secret.
Hester put herself through all of this because she committed a sin that she could not forgive herself for. For the rest of the book she only takes off the scarlet letter once, in the
In reality, the Scarlet Letter is many things. It has all the characteristics of a modern-day soap opera, but it is way more than some television show cast on ABC. It could be a sermon being shouted from a church attendee, but no; the Puritans are surely not the heroes in this novel. It could be a story of failure, for there are many failures cast upon the main characters, or it could be a story of revenge from an angry husband. And, maybe it could even be a story of creativity-- the attempt of one to see their artistic side in a community who disapproves a mind of imagination. The novel could mean a multitude of things, only noticed
The setting of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet letter” is crucial to the understanding of the event that takes place in the story. The setting of the story is in Salem, Massachusetts during the Puritan era. During the Puritan era, adultery was taken as a very serious sin, and this is what Hester and Dimmesdale committ with each other. Because of the sin, their lives change, Hester has to walk around in public with a Scarlet Letter “A” which stands for adultery, and she is constantly being tortured and is thought of as less than a person. Dimmesdale walks around with his sin kept as secret, because he never admits his sin, his mental state is changing, and the sin degrades his well-being. Chillingworth
The Scarlet Letter, a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a novel that takes place in the town of Boston, Massachusetts in 1642. Hester Prynne, the main character of the story, commits the sin of adultery. Because of this sin, she is "blessed" with a child named Pearl. Her punishment is to wear a scarlet letter “A" on her chest for the rest of her life, which affects the way the townspeople look and act around her. Also, she must stand on the scaffold in the town for three hours for the whole town to recognize her grave sins. The man who should be standing upon the scaffold along with her and Pearl is the town minister, Dimmesdale. He is presented as a weak character because of his fear of losing his beloved reputation as such a holy
In the stories of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the antagonist characters display parallel story lines through their searches for the enemy. Roger Chillingworth, the former husband of Hester Prynne and the antagonist of The Scarlet Letter, works against his wife in order to find her untold second lover. Frankenstein is a contrasting story in which an unnamed monster is the antagonist towards his human creator, Dr. Frankenstein. Yet despite quite different story lines, the two characters possess traits that exibit parallels between them. In the novel The Scarlet Letter, Roger Chillingworth displays the startling passionate characteristics of an unwavering drive to seek out his foe, madness as his focus on his search takes over his entire being, and terrible anguish when his task is unexpectedly over, all of which are reflected in the daemon created at the hand of Dr. Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley 's novel Frankenstein.
“Human nature will not flourish, any more than a potato, if it be planted and replanted for too long a series of generations in the same worn-out soil. My children have had other birthplaces, and, so far as their fortunes may be within my control, shall strike their roots into unaccustomed earth.” (23)-Nameless narrator’s narration
Sin is made from the standards of those before, written down to tell those later what is right and wrong; evil and good in the world. Sin is very relevant in The Scarlet Letter, it is shown throughout the novel.The novel started and ended with a sin. Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale, the main characters in The Scarlet Letter, is the cause of this debacle. Hester and Arthur’s inability to control their emotions gave Hester the scarlet letter, and only Hester can redeem herself out of it. Arthur Dimmesdale, Hester’s lover and also one of the church leaders, falls under a illness that no one understands right after Hester Prynne is thrown in jail. His doctor Roger Chillingworth is actually Hester Prynne’s husband. No one in town knows this since his real name is not Roger Chillingworth. Roger looks for revenge against Hester’s lover. All three of these characters commit an act of sin in one way or another which, in turn, affects their minds, their health and causes the consequences leading to great pain.
Hester Prynne is first introduced by an angry crowd of people calling for her death. It seems as Hester has done something terribly wrong, something unforgivable. It gave me mixed thoughts, because I had no idea what she had done that made these people so furious, she could be innocent for all I, or any of the characters, know. Hester’s babe was compared/contrasted to the Scarlet Letter on herself, showing that her babe, not the Letter, was the true consequence to her sinful actions, although the Letter was the more shameful/public symbol. The crowd find anger in how she apparently shows of the Scarlet Letter as if it’s something she is proud of, and not something she is ashamed of, as it was designed to be.
“Women belong in the kitchen.” “All women should be barefoot and pregnant.” “Women are strictly homemakers.” These are a few of the commonly used phrases regarding the female role in society that date back to the mid-seventeenth century. However, ardent supporters of gender equality have surfaced in almost every culture where this ideology is practiced. Nathaniel Hawthorne explores this inveterate societal conflict through his story The Scarlet Letter. The main character, Hester Prynne, is punished for committing adultery by being forced to wear a scarlet letter upon her bosom; Hawthorne created a story sympathetic to the female cause and demonstrated, through Hester, qualities of early feminism that later establish themselves during his