Hester As An Imperfect Heroine

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Kristen Weber Mrs. Kilcullen Honors English 25 November, 2013 Hester as an Imperfect Heroine The Scarlet Letter, a story of Hester Prynne and her paramour, Reverend Dimmesdale, and her malicious husband in pursuit for revenge, Roger Chillingworth. The novel begins in the Puritan society in Boston, Massachusetts, during the 1640’s. The town first ostracizes Hester because of their strong religious beliefs. Hester is then faced with an immense struggle against the town and Roger Chillingworth. Through this struggle she is developed into a heroine, or a woman admired for her courage, achievements, or noble qualities; although she is not the perfect heroine because she starts her journey at the lowest point in Puritan society, in sin. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne overcomes the Puritan community and Roger Chillingworth to defy adversity and become a heroine whom everyone to admire. Even though the Puritan society aims to discourage Hester, she finds a way to display her pride and grace. To begin, Hester makes her way out of jail exhibiting her dignity when appearing with the scarlet letter before the town: “On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold-thread, appeared the letter A. It was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy, that it had all the effect of a last and fitting decoration to the apparel which she wore…” (37).

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