Free Essay - Hester as Mother of the Year in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter - Hester as Mother of the Year

No one is perfect. Especially when it comes to parenting. Even Book characters have trouble being good parents. One example of this is Hester Prynne. She is a book character for the book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Now, Hester is not the worst mother, but she is not the best either. How can you be the best mother in the world with a heathenish daughter like Pearl? Still, Hester does her best, and that's all anyone should ask for. Hester is a good mother because she looks out for Pearl's future, she knows when to be stern and she is a great role model.

When people think of a good parent, the usually think of someone who is always looking out for their child's future. Sometimes, that means lying. Unfortunately, Hester runs into this problem when Pearl asks her mother why she wears the Scarlet letter. "'Silly Pearl,' said she, `what questions are these? There are many things in this world that a child must not ask about...I wear it for the sake of its golden thread.'"117 Truly, Hester lied to Pearl about why she wears the scarlet letter. She lied for a good reason. She lied because as you are growing up you adjust to things. If Hester told her the truth, Pearl would have just shrugged off the comments that she heard about her mother. By not telling her, the impact of those harsh comments would effect her more and perhaps stop her from committing the same sin her mother did. Therefore, save her from suffering.

But there is much more to parenting then just looking ahead to the child's future. Being a good parent also means looking at the here and now as well as the future. The here and now can be a code word for discipline. Sometimes, discipline means scaring the child into behaving. This is what Hester has to do on one occasion. "'Do not tease me: else I shall shut thee into the dark closet!'"178 Admittedly, this seems as if Hester is an awful person to threaten her own daughter. At the same time, is it not necessary if the child will not behave?

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