The Scarlet Letter

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1. Hester Prynne is portrayed as a Christ figure in The Scarlet Letter. She displays self-sacrifice, saintlike features, and exemplifies some biblical teachings throughout the book. The first, which is self-sacrifice, is shown when Hester is standing on the scaffold in front of the whole town and will not uncover the other participant in the adultery. Reverend Wilson questions her of this man that helped commit this crime, “Speak out thy name! That, and thy repentance, may avail to take the scarlet letter off thy breast” (60), with the attempt to bribe her by promising the possible removal of the scarlet A. She refuses to sell out her secret lover with the responses “Never” and “I will not speak!” (60) but the young clergyman keeps questioning Hester. She is willing to take the fall for the both of them and stand up there with the humiliation of their actions. “It is too deeply branded. Ye cannot take it off. And would that I might endure his agony, as well as mine!” (60). This reinforces her firmness in protecting Dimmesdale and from completely razing his name as a minister by telling the public. She is willing to endure the ignominy from the public without exposing him, which is an example of self-sacrifice. With saying that, Hester is like Jesus Christ because he was crucified for our sins as a form of self-sacrifice so we could have eternal life and go to Heaven. Hester's actions for Dimmesdale caused her much more agony and humiliation by the public because of the
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