A Literary Analysis of the Hypocrisy in The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne describes the struggles of a young woman, Hester Prynne, a women found guilty of adultery. Hester's punishment is to wear the scarlet letter “A” to inform the entire town that this woman is a sinner. Throughout the novel, the reader comes to know Hester, the sinner, Reverend Dimmesdale, the minister that Hester had an affair with; and Chillingworth, Hester’s estranged husband whose vengeful mission is to get back at Dimmesdale. The scarlet letter shows the interactions of these characters and the reaction of these characters to Hester's sin. The unacknowledged sin that Hawthorne deals with in The Scarlet Letter is hypocrisy.
Nathaniel Hawthorne exploits the life of Puritanism in his guilty pleasure The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne lends the reader into an insight of life and human nature. The Scarlet Letter reveals the ordeal and evils of Hester Prynne, a woman living in colonial Boston whom was found guilty of adultery. Hester’s punishment was to then wear a visible sign of her sin’ the scarlet letter “A.” As the novel progresses the reader is introduced to Arthur Dimmesdale, the minister Hester had an affair with; and Roger Chillingworth, the estranged husband of Hester whom is out for revenge. The Scarlet Letter examines the relations of the main characters and the consequence of these characters to Hester’s sin.
She has made herself into a symbol of feminine repression for which she represented as a self-appointed reminder of the evils society can commit. Hester Prynne is a strong woman who deals with her sin of adultery very well. Instead of running away from the punishment she lives with it. However, while yielding to the will of the court, she does not truly believe that she sinned. Hester interprets because in her opinion her marriage with Chillingworth never happened and therefore, she has not committed
This statement puts a big question mark on the true lives of the Puritans. If we all have once committed a moral wrongdoing, why is this young woman so harshly punished for her sin? Hester Prynne was a young woman living in a Puritan community in the "New World." Her husband, Roger Chillingworth was said to be lost at sea, and Hester assumed his death. Upon this basis, young Hester committed a crime of adultery with her fellow Minister Arthur Dimmesdale.
Hester Prynne is a beautiful Puritan woman that is forced to bear the scarlet letter. In Nathaniel Hawthorne 's, The Scarlet Letter, Hester 's sin of adultery causes her to become the most hated woman in her community. Hester 's secret lover, Dimmesdale, is a minister of the Puritan town, but is not condemned for the affair. Hester believes that her husband, Roger Chillingworth, is dead until he arrives at her public shaming. She is shamed and pushed away by the Puritan community of Boston.
If another woman were to be branded an adulteress, that woman would have probably try to keep her sin away from the townspeople and forever keep their peace. Hester on the other hand, had the bravery and boldness in her that did not frighten her to show off what she did wrong. She may have had the intention that... ... middle of paper ... ...tunate. The "human tenderness" Hester exerts shows how she did not care what the Puritans thought and acted. Her sin is also an example of her independence; Hester acted on her feelings and didn’t allow the Puritan’s views to interfere with her emotions.
Dimmesdale rationalizes not confessing; all the while Chillingworth is torturing with constant reminders of his hypocrisy. Hester never voluntarily confesses to committing adultery, and never feels any remorse for it. Her public punishment comes not as a result of her having any contrition, but rather her apparent pregnancy. She stays in the town to be close to Dimmesdale, as a reader would find on page 84, "There dwelt...the feet of one with whom she deemed herself connected in a union..." She also stays in town to convince others, as well as herself, that she is actually regretful for her sin even though she knows in her heart she is not. She does this to appease her guilt.
The Scarlet Letter that Hester Prynne wears symbolizes the change in perception of sin through out the novel. Due to the revelations of the governor Winthrop and the reverend Dimmesdale, the way sin is perceived changes from one of shame to the idea that every one is a sinner in their own right. In the beginning of the Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is standing on a scaffold, before puritan elders, being tried for adultery. The elders find her to be guilty and sentence her to the wearing of a scarlet letter on her chest for the rest of her life. The people of the town were angry and astonished that Hester, a fair young lady, had sinned.
Even though some may say she has committed this life by scandalizing her life with adultery with the higher order of the ministry, Dimmesdale—Hester did not desecrate her life by sin or by choice; Hester did not punish and inevitably sacrifice the reputation of others; Hester did not deplore her life, but rather mended her sinful wounds into a rewarding and captivating experience that has made her a better person. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester, even though shun before society and broken within, she did not quell on her humiliation, ... ... middle of paper ... ...in was immoral and humble. But many people take the illusionary side that in the long haul of everything, a sin cannot turn into something more justifiable and virtuous. Hester’s sin of adultery, in the short run, did damage her reputation and credibility, but in the long haul it favored her in the end by redeeming herself, not as the sin of adultery and not as the sin that led to the vengeance of Chillingworth, but a sin that has transformed itself into a different meaning—Able. Able to endure the endless physical torture reminding her of the scarlet letter that her little Pearl signifies as a daily reminder of her punishment; Able to endure the sorrow and loneliness of being an outcast to society as a result of her guilt; Able to pass conviction and strengthen her spirit as the mark of her importance and status as the “Angel” of Puritan divine conception.
Hester only stayed in Boston because Dimmesdale was there. She’s content with living without God’s forgiveness, but was absolutely frantic about living without Dimmesdale’s. Even though she moved away and society didn’t know her sin, Pearl knew, and she was a more potent reminder than the physical letter itself. When she eventually returned, she came with the intention of true penitence, without leaning upon Dimmesdale or Pearl as a crutch or reminder; she does it on her own volition, taking her religion into her own hands. Instead of her prior belief of utter damnation, she makes up for lost time by truly