In the beginning of the Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is standing on a scaffold, before puritan elders, being tried for adultery. The elders find her to be guilty and sentence her to the wearing of a scarlet letter on her chest for the rest of her life. The people of the town were angry and astonished that Hester, a fair young lady, had sinned. To sin was a shameful thing to do and thus, in the early chapters of the book, Hester’s scarlet letter is perceived as a mark of sin and shame. As time passed, Hester was often referred to by the “A” that symbolized her sin. When she went to the Governor’s home, the young puritan children who were playing saw her approaching and exclaimed “Behold, verily, there is the woman of the scarlet letter…!” (Hawthorne 93) On one occasion, the scarlet “A” virtually hid Hester, so that all that could be seen of her was her mark of sin. “…the scarlet letter was represented in exaggerated and gigantic proportions, so as to be greatly the most prominent feature of her appearance…she seemed absolutely hidden behind it.” (Hawthorne 97) For ...
... middle of paper ...
...at have deemed me holy! – behold me here, the one sinner of the world” (Hawthorne 227). The revelation of Dimmesdale shows the puritan people that everyone is a sinner in their own right makes it so that Hester is once again seen as Hester Prynne and not as the scarlet letter that she wears.
Through out Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the perception of sin changes many times. In the beginning, sin is a thing that only a shameful few people have, but by the end, thanks to Dimmesdale and Winthrop, the puritan community understands that every one is in fact a sinner. Hester Prynne goes from being an out cast of society and being named by her scarlet letter to being just like everyone else once again. Once she is accepted back into society, Hester continues to wear her scarlet letter because even though now it is no longer a symbol of sin, it is a symbol for Hester.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In society there are always two kinds of people, good people and bad people. The good people, the teachers pets who always do everything right. They follow the rules and always think of others. Then, you have to bad people, the trouble makers who always do the wrong thing. They break the rules and do things their way. Everyone is classified in one group or the other, and is always thought to be good or bad. In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Pearl is evil. Pearl is doomed from the beginning to be evil.... [tags: Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, characters, e]
1604 words (4.6 pages)
- In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the Puritan community banned all forms of sin. Sin was looked upon as evil, being connected to the devil and his dark ways. Hester Prynne, the main character of the story, was shunned by the rest of the Puritan world after committing the sin of adultery. She lived in a world where it was not accepted. She was isolated from the world around her, having little hope. Throughout the novel, symbols such as the character of the kind woman, the wild rose bush outside of the prison doors and the character of Pearl, Hester Prynne's illegitimate child, are used to show that even in a world full of sin and darkness, there is always hope.... [tags: Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne]
940 words (2.7 pages)
- Guilt is a very strong emotion, and it can take a merciless toll on a person. For most people, guilt is often a short-lived feeling because we confess why we feel guilty and get it off of our chests. However, this is hardly the case for Arthur Dimmesdale, the father of Hester Prynne’s child in the novel The Scarlet Letter. Dimmesdale does not confess that he has committed a sin with Hester, and for a brutal seven whole years, he withholds his guilt inside of him. Throughout all of that time, he reverts to self-punishment in the form of fasting, consecutive, sleepless vigils, and relentless studying of the Bible.... [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Scarlet Letter, guilt,]
994 words (2.8 pages)
- The forest in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, represents an array of personas. Both rumors and scandal surround the forest, causing a biased view of this secluded location within the Puritan community. Yet, Hawthorne designates the forest as a place of truth, independence, and joy to those with secrets. Boston’s Puritan society of the mid 1600’s feared the near-bye forest. Believing that “the black man that haunts the forest” (71) and that the witches who do the devil’s work there, the townspeople are warned to stay away the sinful place.... [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Scarlet Letter, ]
761 words (2.2 pages)
- Secrets can destroy even the most respected people. Sometimes is not the secret itself that drives people into exhaustion, but the emotional baggage that comes with it. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Dimmesdale physically deteriorates because of his guilt caused by a dishonorable sin. The Puritan society in which the story is set discourages the idea of the private self, which Hawthorne shows by creating distinctions between the characters’ private and public lives, specifically Dimmesdale’s.... [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Scarlet Letter, secrets, ]
619 words (1.8 pages)
- Through out the course of history, those who were considered sinners were often out casted from the society. This is much the case with Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. After a public trial, Hester is considered a sinner due to her birthing of a so called “devil child”. Hester is convicted to the life long bearing of a scarlet letter on her chest. The Scarlet Letter that Hester Prynne wears symbolizes the change in perception of sin through out the novel. Due to the revelations of the governor Winthrop and the reverend Dimmesdale, the way sin is perceived changes from one of shame to the idea that every one is a sinner in their own right.... [tags: sin, religion, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Scarlet Letter]
878 words (2.5 pages)
- The Mysterious Forest in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, life is centered around a rigid Puritan society. In this society, people are not allowed to express their true thoughts and feelings. Every human being needs the opportunity to express how they truly feel; otherwise the emotions become bottled up until they begin to hurt the person. Unfortunately, the puritans were not allowed this type of expression. Luckily, at least for the four main characters, Hawthorne has created a forest to give them shelter.... [tags: The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne]
1006 words (2.9 pages)
- Change in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter In life, one may see that there are not many guarantees. However, the closest one may come to a guarantee is that almost anything in life can change. I believe that change can come in many forms.... [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne Scarlet Letter]
1566 words (4.5 pages)
- Main Themes of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and The Minister's Black Veil Nathaniel Hawthorne’s works often have parallel themes and similar characters. His approach is quite gloomy and the atmosphere for his stories is many times sad and depressing. Hawthorne concentrates his novel and short stories around the Puritan community, which adds to the tense and unforgiving atmosphere. One of his most renowned novels, The Scarlet Letter and his short story, The Minister’s Black Veil contain many of his typical elements and are many times referred synonymously.... [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Scarlet Letter, Black Veil]
776 words (2.2 pages)
- The Scaffold Scenes in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter In Nathaniel Hawthorne?s The Scarlet Letter, the Puritans constantly look down upon sinners like Hester Prynne, both literally and symbolically. The use of the three scaffold scenes throughout the course of the novel proved to be an effective method in proving this theory and showing how Puritan society differs from that of today?s. In the first scaffold scene, Hester is being led from the prison where she has spent the last few months, towards the scaffold clutching her newborn baby to her bosom, covering the scarlet letter-the two symbols representing truth and her lost innocence.... [tags: Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne Essays]
879 words (2.5 pages)