Puritan societies were based upon religion and righteous doings, the judgment of the sin adultery, committed in Nathaniel Hawthone’s The Scarlet Letter, would be one that would have a punishment of death. Hester Prynne, in the beginning of the story, stands on trial with the letter A on her chest and her baby, Pearl, in her arm waiting to be publicly viewed and forced into total isolation. Married to Roger Chillingsworth, Hester commits this sin with no one other than the Reverend Dimmesdale, the most looked upon person in the society; although the society does not know Dimmesdale as the father. As time passes along, Dimmesdale, haunted by this sin, begins to isolate himself, and since the people do not know of his wrong doings he also scourges himself as a punishment as well, and even when his sin is publicly known people seem to have a different reaction than what their reaction with Hester was. Society’s views of sin and wrongful doings sends people into isolation, whether by their own choice or by the choice of society. They use isolation as a way to create a point that someone should be avoided for fear of them being different or evil, being born or inhabited by the "black man" or devil.
The Scarlet Letter, a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, shows the adverse consequences caused by adultery between Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne. Dimmesdale and Hester committed the supreme sin of the Puritan society they belong. They must both deal with the effects of the scarlet letter. Pearl, the daughter of the two lovers, continuously punishes Hester for what she has done. Dimmesdale can only see Hester and Pearl when others will not find out or see. Hester finds a way to support herself and daughter, and at the same time, puts a mark on the possessions of some who are a part of society. The sin of adultery created repercussions that were shared and individually experienced by Reverend Dimmesdale and 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.
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
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter, many of the characters suffer from the tolls of sin, but none as horribly as Hester's daughter Pearl. She alone suffers from sin that is not hers, but rather that of her mother's. From the day she is conceived, Pearl is portrayed as an offspring of vice. She is introduced into the discerning, pitiless domain of the Puritan religion from inside a jail; a place untouched by light, as is the depth of her mother's sin. The austere Puritan ways punish Hester through banishment from the community and the church, simultaneously punishing Pearl in the process. This isolation leads to an unspoken detachment and animosity between her and the other Puritan children. Thus we see how Pearl is conceived through sin, and how she suffers when her mother and the community situate this deed upon her like the scarlet letter on her mother's bosom.
Hester Prynne is the protagonist of Nathaniel Hawthorne's romantic novel, The Scarlet Letter, which is set in seventeenth-century Puritan New England. As a young woman, Hester married an elderly scholar, Roger Chillingworth, who sent her ahead to America to live but never followed. While waiting for him, she had an affair with a Puritan minister named Dimmesdale, after which she gave birth to Pearl. Found guilty of adultery (through the absence of her husband and the birth of Pearl), Hester is punished by being forced to wear a scarlet lette...
Throughout The Scarlet Letter Hester lives with disgrace and is always mocked by the towns people. There are many instances of characters not being true to themselves. If you are not true to you’re self the guilt can lead to total breakdown. Reverend Dimmesdale suffers for not being true to himself. The governor chooses Reverend Dimmesdale to be the judge of Hester. This shows that the people think he is righteous so he feels he has no choice but to hide for the sake of the people and what they believe in. Then instead of admitting his sin of adultery to the public, he keeps his secret to himself, knowing it will burn inside of him until he reveals it to the public and to pearl especially. The only thing worse in the Puritans society than committing a terrible sin is not admiting to it. Hester admits to her sin but Dimmesdale does not. Hester faces her sin and does not hide from the consequences. Nathaniel Hawthorne states, "Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!” Hester is an example of how being true to one's self can make you stronger unlike chilling worth and dimmesdale who are dishonest.
From the beginning, we see that Hester Prynne is a young and beautiful woman who has brought a child into the world with an unknown father. She is punished by Puritan society by wearing the scarlet letter A on the bosom of her dress and standing on the scaffold for three hours. Her hair is a glossy brown and her eyes deep-set, and black, her attire is rich, carefully caressing her slender figure. The scaffold is a painful task to bear; the townspeople gathered around to gossip and stare at Hester and her newborn child, whom she suitably named Pearl, named because of her extreme value to her mother. In the disorder of faces in the crowd, young Hester Prynne sees the face of a man she once was fiercely familiar with, whom we later learn is her true husband, Roger Chillingworth. Her subjection to the crowd of Puritan onlookers is excruciating to bear, and Hester holds the child to her heart, a symbolic comparison between the child and the scarlet letter, implying that they are truly both intertwined.
The society in which she lives is legitimized such that people follow a certain moral code. Refraining or overlooking of such codes leads to punishment as revealed by the women “this woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die” (The Ugly Woman, 7). The narrator however, echoes concern against following strict codes of conduct. Hawthorne presents the idea that lack of compassion and forgiveness makes a society dictatorial, he believes the need to observe and practice grace is imperative. Ruling through grace was expressed by Hester when she is forgiven by a society that had once punished her for same mistakes as the young girl retorts “let her cover the mark she will, the pang of it will be always in her heart” (A Young Wife, 6). Reverend Dimmesdale finds adequate grace after seven years of not confessing his sins because of the repercussions that would come thereafter. He begs Hester to reveal his name so that he can as well reveal his sin “be not silent from any mistaken pity, and tenderness for him” (Reverend Dimmesdale, 26) YOur
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)