As Hester wears the scarlet letter, the reader can feel how much of an outcast Hester becomes. When walking through town, “…she never raised her head to receive their greeting. If they were resolute to accost her, she laid her finger on the scarlet letter and passed on” (Hawthorne, 127).She believes that she is not worthy of the towns acknowledgments and chooses to ignore them. The guilt that now rests in Hester is overwhelming to her and is a reason of her change in personality.
While Hester was publicly shamed, Arthur Dimmesdale, who was also to blame for the adultery crime, was fighting within himself. Hester was shamed and forced to wear the Scarlet Letter A on her bosom for 7 years; Dimmesdale hid behind lies and secrets for 7 years and it tore him apart. This time Dimmesdale, Hester, and their daughter Pearl, stand on the scaffold together. The whole town began to realize who the lover of Hester was this whole time and who became the father of Pearl 7 years ago. As years went on, people began to forgive Hester. Hester then began to start over. After she is released from prison, she is allowed to leave Boston, but she decides to stay. She supports herself and starts over by her needlework. Although for so long her shamed destroyed her, she had a change in attitude. The people in the town began to look at the A on her chest as “Able” and not “Adulter”.This allowed Hester to change from an easy going and tender women to a strong and passionate women. She realized that she needed to be strong and independent. I believe that once she stood on the scaffold with Dimmesdale and Pearl she found happiness and strength within herself. Her attitude changed from negative to a positive outlook; she realized that her past made her stronger as a woman. The people of the town had forgiven her and some even respected her. This scene of the book showed that Hester
She knows the severity of her sin, and therefore welcomes her punishment without rebellion. When she stands on the scaffold with Pearl, Hester accepts "that one token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another, [so] she took the baby on her arm... On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A" (Hawthorne 50). She humbles herself by proudly displaying both of the symbols of her disgrace: the scarlet letter A, and Pearl, her sin-born daughter. Not only does Hester display her shame, but gives back to her community. She shows compassion toward the poor and sick of the Puritan town. Hester delivers food to the poor and helps the ill. Many people of the community begin to alter how they interpret the scarlet letter that the poor Hester is forced to wear. The townspeople discuss her claiming "Its is our Hester,-the town 's own Hester, who is so kind to the poor, so helpful to the sick, so comfortable to the afflicted!"(Hawthorne 147). The letter "A" that Hester bears on her chest begins to mean "able" instead of "adulterer." Even when Hester moves away, she refuses to stay away and returns to the town to serve her remaining punishment. The town is the home of her sin and the place of her penance. Hester isolates herself from the rest of the town and lives in solitude. Hester Prynne
Hester Prynne, the central character in the Scarlet Letter, realizes and accepts the consequences of the adulterous act she committed against her husband, Roger Chillingworth, as Hawthorne shows in this quotation. Hester, throughout the book, excludes and humbles herself because of her crime, rather than simply running away. At the same time, she advertises her sin through the brilliantly embroidered “A” and through her daughter, Pearl, born out of this sin. Hester realizes that she indeed sinned in committing adultery, and, being the strong individual that she is, accepts the consequences of her actions.
If there is one thing to learn from The Scarlet Letter, it is that suffering is the nature of sin. The book is comprised of three types of sin: Hester’s revealed sin, Dimmesdale’s concealed sin, and Chillingworth’s acquired sin. Hester suffers public isolation and scorn, which is shown through her having to wear a scarlet letter and the way she is an outcast in the town. Dimmesdale suffers self inflicted tortures through starvation, sleep deprivation, and scourging. Chillingworth’s sin leads to moral corruptness, which brings him great unhappiness. No matter what shape sin takes, be it concealed, revealed, or acquired, it will inevitably bring with it suffering.
Sin is a central theme in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. As the novel revolves around Hester’s punishments for her sins, understanding the theme of sin is critical to understanding the story as a whole. Hawthorne uses dialogue between Pearl and Hester to suggest to the reader that sinning is natural to adults. Hester’s change brought on by her punishments demonstrate that the desire to sin is inescapable. Through a description of Dimmesdale’s suffering, Hawthorne shows that the people of boston are united by by the quality of having sinned. Through the experiences of Pearl, Hester, and Dimmesdale, Hawthorne uses sin as a theme in order to show that sinning is natural, inevitable, and universal to people of Boston.
In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is convicted of adultery and sentenced to wear a scarlet letter "A" on her chest as a lasting reminder of her crime. She is forbidden to take off this token of disgrace, and does as the court says until chapter 13. Hester is rejected by almost everyone in the town when they find out she carrying the child of man who is not her husband. She heroically bears her punishment, continues to live there and stands firm on what she believes. The townspeople are very coarse in the way they treat her and their judgement of Hester. As the story goes on, Hawthorne presents several questions, but offers little to no answers and leaves the mind to wonder and only assume. How does Hester change the symbolism of this heinous letter through the eyes of the Puritan community? What role does Hester's own response to her situation play in changing the meaning of the letter "A"? How is the letter seen as a symbol of the connection between an experience that is sinful in nature and the understanding that would not come about if not for failure? And most importantly, why does Hester refuse to tell the name of her daughter Pearl’s father, while on the stand? Is it possible to love someone so much that you will protect them at any cost, even if that means being humiliated and degraded by others? To Hester it was.
Some say to sin is to go to hell, some say sin is a scourge of human nature, some say sin must be confessed, and some say sin must be forced out of people through punishment. The internal consequences of believing one has sinned are more intangible than social attitudes toward sin, but they appear just as often and in just as many different ways. The novel The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, exudes sin. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses symbolism to demonstrate the effects of sin not only on public reputation, but also on one’s psychological state. The Scarlet Letter A, which Hester Prynne wears on her chest as punishment for adultery, causes her anguish through ignominy but allows her to improve over time through the public nature of her disgrace. Chillingworth, the leech, punishes Reverend Dimmesdale for his concealed sin, and yet at the same time wastes away due to his own sin of sucking the life out of Dimmesdale. Pearl, the illegitimate child of Hester and Dimmesdale, embodies both the open and the concealed sin of her parents. She is unable to be normal because of this and takes on wild and elf-like qualities.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a study of the effects of sin on the hearts and minds of the main characters, Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, Roger Chillingworth. Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth. Sin strengthens Hester, humanizes Dimmesdale, and turns Chillingworth into a demon.
First, Hester’s deception and secrecy lead to a destructive mark. Hester’s involvement with a man that was not her husband made her a symbol of women’s frailty and sinful passion. Hester’s mark is “On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold-thread, appeared the letter A . (50) Her creativity of making a symbol of sin appealing was not allowed by the grim Puritans . Hester decide to stay where her sin was committed , alienating her from the Puritan society making her even more of an outsider than she already was.” Lonely as was Hester’s situation, and without a friend on earth who dared to show himself, she, however, incurred no risk of want.’’ (75) Hester was lonely with only Pearl to share her life with. Hester at once beautiful had lost her beauty in the aftermath of her sin. “Even the attractiveness of her person had undergone a similar change.” (150)Hester decision to hide the fact that Chillingworth is her husband leads him to torture Dimmesdale.“ Your clutch is on his life , and you cause him to die daily a living death; and still he knows you not.” (156)