Hawthorne's Hester Prynne is the underdog protagonist that the reader cannot help but want to succeed. She is flawed but her flaws are outshone by her good heart and spirit. This shamed and humiliated woman is the one the reader, with the help of Hawthorne’s descriptions, wants to support. This sinful woman, with a child from wedlock, a diabolical “husband”, and a secretive lover is the motivating force that drives the reader to continue on with The Scarlet Letter. The language, descriptions, and plot of The Scarlet Letter show that Hawthorne believes the reader should look past gender stereotypes because not everything is what is
one sense she loves her son very much and wants his life to continue. She said
Returning to Boston many years after standing upon the scaffold, Hester has become a completely changed person. From being a symbol of sin and ignominy she has now become one who is filled with compassion for others. Hester has fully shed the identity given to her by the puritan society and the scarlet letter. “...people brought all their sorrows and perplexities, and besought her counsel” (Hawthorne 247). She has gained an eminence in helping others who seek help. The fact that she has gone through a hardship unlike any other, she is able to give hope to those who
ignorant to her own daughter’s feelings, with remarks like “you can’t milk a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” (Ellis 1). It is
Her being forced to wear the scarlet letter which led her to becoming a women’s advocate reflects the theme that good things come from bad. There was plenty of negative backlash to Hester's mistake, however she gained the ability to help other women struggling just like her. “They said that it meant Able, so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman's strength” (pg 177, Hawthorne). The sin she committed and the experience gained through the aftermath of that sin, gives her insight on what it's like to be a woman who's being discriminated. Raising her daughter on her own and her saving her from harming herself reflects the theme that everyone makes mistakes. After all Hester is human just like everyone else. It is in our nature to make mistakes or even sin. “It is remarkable, that persons who speculate the most boldly often conform with the most perfect quietude to the external regulations of society” (pg 181, Hawthorne). The actions we take to reverse or to compensate for that sin is what makes us who we are as individuals. Her being alienated from society and developing an independent thinking mindset mirrors the theme that one must acknowledge their mistakes to learn from them. Hester’s society made it abundantly clear that what she did was absolutely heinous and that she needs to repent and beg for forgiveness. The isolation she suffered through helped her become an independent thinker and develop thoughts that we would consider ahead of her time. “The world's law was no law for her mind” (pg 180, Hawthorne). Being excluded socially gave her a chance to dwell in her own thoughts and gather perceptions different from that of other puritans. This decision that Hester makes is very important to the story because it mirrors many of the major themes the author tried getting across to its
present (in the film), all revolve around her children and making sure that they maintain some
There is no outward display of affection. She “was not a mother/woman.” The children take care of themselves with some help from a nurse.
Hester Prynne of Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter defies the Puritan belief system through her rebellion and compassion. Hester defies the Puritan belief system through her rebellion. Hester Prynne, while in Boston waiting for her husband to come from Amsterdam, commits the crime of adultery and gives birth to a child, causing her to be punished. Hawthorne describes her crime in dialogue between Hester’s husband, who has just arrived in Boston and is unaware of Hester’s circumstances, and a towns member who infers as to what she has done and how much of an uproar it has caused, during her public punishment, in the government forces her to stand on a scaffold for three hours and condemned to wear an A on her chest
left her parent’s home one day with her child but she did not return. She had almost little to no
Hester is released from prison and finds a cottage in the woods, near the outskirts of the city, to set up her new life. Hawthorne comments on the fact that she does not avail herself of the opportunity to escape to a new life without shame in some other city. He remarks that often people are irresistibly drawn to live near the place where a great has occurred. He further comments that even if that is not the reason, Hester may have been inclined to remain in Boston because her secret lover still lived there.
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
She became aware of the difficulties between the parents when her daughter called her. Ms. Saunders reported that her daughter was teaching and became pregnant and needed bed rest. There was a lot of pressure for her to go to work.
Hester Prynne’s ability to sustain her stability and strength of spirit is the express result of her public guilt and penance. She was Arthur Dimmesdale’s partner in adultery, but she is used by Hawthorne as a complete foil to his situation. Unlike Dimmesdale, Hester is both strong and honest. Walking out of prison at the beginning of the novel, she decides 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 grief” (54). Hester openly acknowledges her sin to the public, and always wears her scarlet letter A. In the forest scene, she explains to Dimmesdale that she has been truthful in all things except in revealing his part in her pregnancy. “A lie is never good, even though death threaten on the other side” (133). Even Dimmesdale himself realizes that Hester’s situation is much healthier than his own when he states, “It must needs be better for the sufferer to be free to show his pain, as this poor woman Hester is, than to cover it all up in his heart” (92-93). This life of public shame and repentance, although bitter, lonely, and difficult, helps Hester retain her true identity while Dimmesdale seems to be losing his.
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.