In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is shunned for adultery. Her punishment set forth by the Puritan church is to stand on a scaffold so everyone can publicly shame her. Additionally, she must always wear a letter “A” on her chest, identifying her as a
The character of Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter is the perfect example of a round character: one who is complex as a result of growing and changing throughout the story. Hester is a character through which readers can view growing empowerment, increasing self-esteem, and blossoming confidence. Originally a symbol of sin and wrongdoing, Hester Prynne develops into a figure of ability and strength. From the first time she is introduced in the novel, it can easily be inferred that she is despised by her community. In a world where it is morally unacceptable, she has committed adultery. For that, she is granted the punishment of displaying an attention-drawing scarlet letter “A” on her chest, abbreviating the label “adulterer.” When she is displayed on a scaffold for public disgrace, her peers “were stern enough to look upon her death, had that been the sentence, without a murmur at its severity, but had none of the heartlessness of another social state, which would find only a theme for jest in exhibition like the present” (54).
Novelist, Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his fictional novel, “The Scarlet Letter”, expresses a story about a young woman, Hester Prynne, back in the 1600s who was convicted of adultery and must now wear a big “A” on her chest to show those in the small Massachusetts Bay colony the sin she has committed. Hawthorne’s purpose is to illustrate the hardships Hester must go through for committing such act in the small colony where religion was put first. Hawthorne adopts a serious and pitiful tone throughout the novel to get the adult readers to sympathize with the main character, Hester Prynne. Though this book was written back in the 1800s and is based off a woman who’s shamed for adultery, this book can still relate to today’s world with some of
In The Scarlet Letter, an adulterer named Hester was shunned by the church and society. This book also has the church as the main group. The main unspoken rule dealt with was adultery. Hester’s husband had sent her ahead to America. She had an affair with a priest and this was just something that you did not do, and it was a logical unspoken rule that was broken, and, therefore, she was unable to really belong in this town for a very long time. The girl was so shunned, they put an “A” on her clothes. This was the epitome of humiliation. At this time, no one would associate with a girl like Hester. There was never a feel of belonging after that “A” was placed on her clothes. Hester’s actual husband who disguised himself as Roger Chillingworth to avoid the humiliation. Dimmesdale was the man she had an affair with, and he was a minister.
Since the beginning of time, sinning has been part of human nature. Whether small or large, people commit sins that are often juxtaposed to acceptable societal principles. In the Puritan society portrayed in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, any sin brings forth harsh consequences. The novel focuses on the main character Hester Prynne and her path to atonement for committing adultery with the town minister Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester endures public punishment by wearing a scarlet letter “A” on her chest, while Dimmesdale suffers privately by keeping the sin a secret. The contrast of the accepting Hester and her public punishment to Dimmesdale’s debilitating punishment he enforces upon himself privately works to portray to the reader the internal effects of concealing secret sins on oneself.
Have you ever wondered what type of trials and errors people went through? In the 1600’s adultery was one of the appalling sins that one could make. It was very rare for it to happen or for those around you to know about it. They often made the adulterer wear a scarlet colored “A” on their chest. Giving us the story of The Scarlet Letter.
“In June 1642, in the Puritan town of Boston, a crowd gathers to witness the punishment of Hester Prynne, a young woman found guilty of adultery. She is required to wear a scarlet "A" on her dress to shame her. She must stand on the scaffold for three hours, to be exposed to public humiliation. As Hester approaches the scaffold, many of the women in the crowd are angered by her beauty and quiet dignity.”
Despite her adulterous acts, Hester Prynne displays the qualities of a true heroine. A heroin is defined as “a woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for her brave deeds and noble qualities.” (Dictionary.com). Though some may say that she is not heroic, a person must possess some bravery to be able to endure punishment and judgment by their peers silently. She did not succumb to the pressure to reveal her partner's name, when she is told to "speak out the name of thy fellow-sinner and fellow-sufferer" (Hawthorne 65). This shows loyalty, and though it is loyalty to a fellow sinner, it is still a quality that a heroine must have. Also, the fact that she is able to raise her child while her punishment is ongoing shows strength and
Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter is a brave individual with a terrible sin. During the time of 1642 in Boston, Massachusetts, the Puritans took over. The Puritans were strict over their religion and forced the Bible to be taught properly. Someone who did not follow every rule would be humiliated in their community, like Hester Prynne. Hester Prynne had to wear a stitched “A” to show that she has committed the sin: Adultery. The standards of Prynne’s society is ridiculously strict on their word, she is affected harshly, and responds to this situation maturely.
This tale begins at the birth of this country. In the Massachusetts Bay Colony civilized by the Puritans of Great Britain, there was hypocrisy. In that colony, a talented seamstress was ostracized from the community due to her unfaithfulness to her husband. Hester Prynne was her name and as per religious tradition, she was forced to wear a scarlet “A” on her bodice to symbolize her crime. The “A” stood for adulteress and it was a mark that branded her soul.
The novel, The Scarlet Letter, shows how many members of a puritan society respond to the act of sin specifically the act of adultery.The reactions between the adulterers and community vastly contrasted in three different ways. Hester Prynne, one of the adulterers, responds to her sin in her very own personal way by wearing the scarlet letter on her chest. Reverend Dimmesdale, the other adulterer, responds punishing himself. The community responds to the sin of adultery by publicly shaming Hester Prynne.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, themes of sin and guilt are prominently displayed in the traits of the characters. The novel indicates the strong romantic presence of that time. It revolves around a young woman who is struggling to fit into a new town in a 17th century Puritan society. Hester Prynne, after moving to America to prepare a home for her husband Roger, makes a mostly independent life for herself in what is now Boston, Massachusetts. Some time later, she is falsely informed that her husband has perished in a shipwreck while he was on his way to America to meet her. Hester turns to her minister for guidance and becomes involved in an affair with him. She soon discovers
In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, made in the 1800s and takes place in the 1700s. The novel, the Scarlet Letter is about a woman, Hester Prynne, who committed adultery in a Puritan society. She is punished for committing her sin by have the letter “A” in scarlet sewn onto her bosom, The “A” standing for adultery and is scarlet, representing sex, sin and, evil. Hester's husband has mysteriously never arrived to the colony, assumed to be at the bottom of the sea. Hester who is punished for her sin has also given birth to a baby. In this novel Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the symbols, the Scarlet letter “A”, Dimmesdale, and the black blossom, to contribute to the main theme of secret sin.
“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.” (40) Every aspect of the story of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter, whether it be major or minor, stems from this line. From beginning to end, the scarlet letter has a major bearing on the unfolding of the plot. Hester Prynne, an adulteress, is spared death for her sin, but she must wear a scarlet letter “A” for the rest of her life. Her husband, who has been living with Native Americans for the past two years, arrives in town just in time to see her holding a baby and being publicly humiliated for the crime of adultery and vows to get revenge. As
In the novel, “The Scarlet Letter,” the townspeople of the village judge Hester Prynne for her sin of adultery with a man whom she is not married to. In which they have made her wear the scarlet letter “A” to remind her daily of her sin, not to mention her baby, Pearl, also being a daily reminder. Yet the townspeople themselves are not all high and mighty either, because they to have secrets of their own. The puritan children of the