Hester Prynne And Puritans In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter tells the story of a woman, Hester Prynne, who had to live with the shame of defying one of the Ten Commandments in a strict religious community. The reader follows her as she is excluded from the community and punished. Not only does this affect her but it also affects a reverend and her husband. Hester Prynne lives in a Puritan community. They believe in having a “pure” community and having a population that believes in the same thing. Puritans have a literal interpretation of the Bible and their lives are based around God. God has absolute power over everyone, including their destiny. Hester breaks one of the Ten Commandments, which is, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” By going against the community’s…show more content…
She … resumed the symbol of which we have related so dark a tale. Never afterwards did it quit her bosom. But … the scarlet letter ceased to be a stigma which attracted the world’s scorn and bitterness, and became a type of something to be sorrowed over, and looked upon with awe, yet with reverence too” (Hawthorne 234). This quote was said when Hester decided to return to New England. When she got there, she began to wear the “A” again. The scarlet letter was originally meant to shame her. Now, she identifies the letter with her past and herself. Hester has now changed the meaning of the letter from something to be guilty about to something that she overcame. This also shows Hester’s character development when compared to the beginning of the book. Something I learned while reading The Scarlet Letter was that withholding emotions, especially those of guilt, can have a huge effect on your mental and physical health. Dimmesdale really demonstrated this lesson. He didn’t want anyone to know about his affair with Hester and he kept it hidden for seven years. His guilt began to consume him and since he refused to talk to anyone he began to have visions about Hester and his child. He would even whip himself and
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