Is Hester Prynne A Romantic Hero Essay

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Have you ever read a novel with a young, nature-loving main character? Did they have a quest for a higher truth? If so, you may have encountered a romantic hero. Hester Prynne, the main character of The Scarlet Letter, committed adultery as a young woman; earning her a scarlet letter “A” on the breast of her clothing, along with the scorn of her fellow citizens. Her and her daughter lived on the outskirts of town, suffering alone due to the inability of the father to step forward. However, she did not let these adversities define her. Hester Prynne is an American romantic hero based on her informal knowledge of people and her sense of self-induced honor. The romantic heroes in literature typically have an understanding of people that was not formally acquired. In Hawthorne's novel, Hester has a run-in with Arthur Dimmesdale- the man with whom she strayed from her marriage- in the forest. There, he confides in her about the reality of his situation; the guilt from their sin is eating him alive. She tells him, “Thou art crushed under this seven years’ weight of misery… But thou shalt leave it all behind thee! It shall not cumber thy steps” (Hawthorne 169). Hester’s wise words showcase the knowledge she has acquired during her years bearing the scarlet letter. She is able to understand that actions do not bind you forever; even the most frowned-upon sins can be forgiven in due time. Her punishment ultimately brought her to the realization that her mistakes do not define her.

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