Hester Prynne Character Traits

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An Adulterous Adult As a woman in a Puritan society, Hester Prynne breaks many of the standards accepted at the time. Throughout The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne shows major character development and proves to be a strong, important character. In the beginning of the story, she is found guilty of adultery and is forced to wear the scarlet letter. She tries to hide it at first, ashamed of her past actions and tired of being reminded of her sins, but eventually learns to embrace it and accept the consequences of her actions. Overall, Hester shows significant development in her character and social status and is greatly influenced by the scarlet letter. Throughout the novel, Hester Prynne changes from being a weak and helpless character to a strong, independent character. At the beginning of the novel, she is publicly shamed by the occupants of the village and imprisoned for committing adultery. While in prison, Hester is very depressed and is described as being helpless and…show more content…
Following the incident, her position in the town drops significantly, causing many of her peers to treat her accordingly. She is looked upon as a criminal and ostracized from society, which leads her to becoming very antisocial and lonely. Chillingworth shows this being that he “was hidden by another name, which its former wearer had resolved” (114). Despite the town’s efforts to leave Hester out, her skill as a seamstress and the town’s need for a seamstress gives her an occupation and a purpose. This is an increase in social status, being that she was imprisoned prior to this, and causes Hester to behave as if she’s being constantly judged. As the story continues, her view in the eyes of the public slowly improves, as they recognize her saintly behavior after her conviction. Overall, her view in the eyes of the public drops when she is caught, but slowly rises back to what it used to
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