Role Of Hester Prynne In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

Decent Essays
Strong Hearted Woman
In a time where women are confined, Hester Prynne stands up for her right to be the strong human being she is. She follows her heart and deals with the consequences with her daughter Pearl by her side. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous melodramatic novel, The Scarlet Letter, depicts Hester’s strength in exposing and accepting her sin. Hawthorne makes use of symbolism, allegory, and irony to bring a tone of gender injustice to the novel.
In the eyes of the Puritan community, Hester commits one of the worst possible sins that can be imagined: adultery. The scarlet letter that she is forced to wear burns a hole to her heart but, Hester refuses to take it off. The first thing her daughter Pearl notices when she is born is the letter
…show more content…
The rules do not allow any breaking away of the Holy Communion, much less any revolt against it which is exactly what Hester does. Lei, Nan agrees by stating that Hester is a soldier who challenges and defies the puritan society in her own way (2166). Hawthorne mentions how she bore on her breast, in the curiously embroidered letter, a specimen of her delicate and imaginative skill... to add the richer and more spiritual adornment of human ingenuity to [the] fabrics of silk and gold (83). Hester adorns the scarlet letter, thus fading away the whole meaning of the sin behind it. She makes it part of her lifestyle and overcomes herself; therefore, becoming a role model to many. Women… came to Hester’s cottage, demanding why they were so wretched, and what the remedy! Hester comforted and counselled them, as best she might (Hawthorne 263). Women see how she managed to stay strong through her punishment and inclusively is capable of raising a beautiful, loving girl on her own. She was then seen as a wise woman whom they could go for advice. She assured them, too, of her firm belief, that, at some brighter period... a new truth would be revealed, in order to establish the whole relation between man and woman on a surer ground of mutual happiness (Hawthorne 264). Hester Prynne had been a victim of gender confinement. She wanted change, and was a strong believer that one day, there would be equality between a man and a
Get Access