The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter

Length: 792 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

The Scarlet Letter

The major characters go through many changes due to all of the events that have taken place, but the torture they have to live and die with is all within themselves. Hester Prynn has always been strong, but being isolated from society and raising a child who constantly punishes her for her love affair makes her grow stronger and tougher. Chillingworth, who once was a caring man who loved Hester, shows his darkest side when he sets out to destroy the soul of an already weak man. Dimmesdale becomes weaker when he finds he can't purify his soul from the sin he has committed. The major character changes come from within and are controlled by the characters.

Once her jail time had been served, the worst of Hester's punishment had only begun. She had confessed and had no guilt to live with, but society had completely shut her out. Also, aside from the embroidered scarlet letter she had to wear, she also had to live with her child who was a daily reminder of her sin. In order to survive her daily pain, Hester grows stronger and blocks out a lot of her emotions. It is noticed that the tougher she got inside, the tougher her appearance becomes and the more plain she dressed. Once she meet with Dimmesdale in the forest, she told him of Chillingworth, which shows she had grown strong enough to not let him hold her down. When she gained that strength, her beauty was expressed by:
Her sex, her youth, and the whole richness of her beauty, came back from
what men call the irrevocable past.
Chillingworth had not been able to harm Hester because of her inner strength. At the end of the book, she is the only one who has survived emotionally.

Chillingworth wanted a woman who would love him, but when that failed, he found a new love. His new passion became the destruction of the man who took Hester away from him. He tells Hester of his plans when he says:
I shall seek this man…There is a sympathy that will make me conscious of
him. I shall see him tremble. I shall feel myself shudder, suddenly and
unawares. Sooner or later, he must needs be mine!
When Chillingworth moved in with Dimmesdale and controlled his every day life, his whole life was based around Dimmesdale's destruction. Since Dimmesdale had not yet confessed his sin to the town, Chillingworth was succeeding in his plan to destroy Dimmesdale's soul easily.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Scarlet Letter." 02 Apr 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Dimmesdale’s Metamorphosis in The Scarlet Letter Essay

- Dimmesdale’s Metamorphosis Life is unpredictable, and through trial and error humanity learns how to respond to conflicts and learns how to benefit from mistakes. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a character who changes and gains knowledge from the trials he faces, but first he has to go through physical, spiritual, and emotional agony. In the midst of all the havoc, the young theologian is contaminated with evil but fortunately his character develops from fragile to powerful, and the transformation Dimmesdale undergoes contributes to the plot’s climax....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter]

Research Papers
825 words (2.4 pages)

Essay On Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter

- Evolution of a Symbol Symbols in literature are an essential element to the story and to the characters they apply to. Symbols link the whole work together and offer a deeper meaning to something that may appear shallow on the surface. However, these symbols are usually static. For Hester Prynne in the gothic romance, The Scarlet Letter and her symbol of a bright red A emblazoned on her chest this is not so. The symbol of Hester’s sin in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne proves that stigmas and reputations can change from a mark of shame and disgrace into a mark of respect and honor....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
841 words (2.4 pages)

The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- Throughout the infamous novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the reader is met with a lot of symbolism, from the rosebush to the scaffold and of course the most obvious symbol of them all, the scarlet letter “A”. While the most evident meaning or symbolism behind the scarlet letter “A” is that it stands for adultery, the scarlet letter can actually represent a lot more depending on the context it is placed in. Throughout the novel, the scarlet letter “A” morphs in meaning. The letter goes from standing for adultery, to strength, growth, ableness, power and much more....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
752 words (2.1 pages)

The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- In the novel the Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the main character Hester Prynne sinned by committing adultery which changes her identity while she wears the Scarlet Letter. “In the social jungle of human existence, there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity” (Erik Erikson). The way the scarlet letter defines Hester as someone who sinned in her society. The way that her society reacted to her with the scarlet letter, made her question her identity of who she is with the scarlet letter....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
1343 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

- Pranav Damera Mr. Mackechnie English Period 6 9 May 2015 “A” in the Scarlet Letter According to Webster Dictionary, adultery is sex between a married person and someone who is not that person 's wife or husband. Even though this is still considered immoral nowadays, it is not dealt with as harshly by countries today as the Puritans. The scarlet letter “A” in the Scarlet Letter has many different meanings throughout the book. The “A” serves as a symbol throughout and helps show the suffering and strength of Hester Prynne as a character....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
1618 words (4.6 pages)

Essay On The Scarlet Letter Identity

- In view of others, an individual is defined by their actions but by accepting their consequence, one can overcome their new identity. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is known among her Puritan community by her scarlet letter ‘A’ that lies on her chest as a reminder of her crime. As she is labelled an ‘adulterer,’ and tries to remain her accomplice a mystery, Hester is faced with the challenge of trying to raise her daughter, Pearl, alone in ignominy. The scarlet letter, worn upon Hester’s chest, commences as a symbol of shame and isolation as a result of her punishment, but as the novel progresses, Hester begins to embody the scarlet letter as her own identity....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
721 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Pearl And The Scarlet Letter

- Pearl’s Role In The Scarlet Letter Pearl is Hester’s illegitimate daughter, who can be described as inquisitive, bold, stubborn, and imaginative. Growing up she is obsessed with Hester 's scarlet letter, and proves to be a rather odd child. This is demonstrated by her odd behavior and drastic mood changes. Throughout the novel, Pearl intricately affects the lives of both Hester and Dimmesdale. For Hester, she serves as someone to protect, cherish, and raise, and is even viewed by parts of the community as someone to keep Hester in line....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
937 words (2.7 pages)

Symbolism In Scarlet Letter Essay

- Why is it that Pearl is the direct object that came from the scarlet letter. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the character Pearl is born as a result of her mother Hester committing adultery and sleeping with Reverend Dimmesdale while her husband is away. In “A Pre- Symbolic Struggle: Pearl’s Subject- construction in The Scarlet Letter” by Chenghe Yao, the topic of the way the scarlet letter symbolizes her morals and the way she was brought up. In Yao’s article, it shows how Pearl's entire life is based on the effects of the scarlet letter, the way she is taught, and the way society views her is vital in a way that we can better understand the character of Pearl....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
952 words (2.7 pages)

The Significance of the Letter in The Scarlet Letter Essay

- The Scarlet Letter: The Significance of the Letter             Adultery has been around almost as long as people. It has maintained a harsh punishment, from banishment to death, but in the Puritan world of colonial America (from about 1620-1640), its punishment may have been worse than either. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is a lonely Puritan woman who commits infidelity with a preacher and has a son from the untruthful union. To punish her for this act, the council of leaders forces her to wear a large “A” on her bosom, to let all know what she has done....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Research Papers
1821 words (5.2 pages)

Essay about Pearl as a Symbol in The Scarlet Letter

- Pearl as a Symbol in The Scarlet Letter In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Pearl, is a symbol of sin and adultery in the sense that she leads Dimmsdale and Hester to their confession and the acceptance of their sins. A beauitful daughter of the towns adulturist has somtimes demon like traits. She is also the only living symblol of the scarlet letter "A". In another way Pearl also makes a connection between Dimmsdale and Hester. Initially Pearl is the symbol of Hesters public punishment for her adultery....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter]

Free Essays
372 words (1.1 pages)

Related Searches

The more harmful he got, the uglier his physical appearance became. When Dimmesdale finally confessed his sin to everyone and let out all of his guilt, Chillingworth could no longer harm him. Without Dimmesdale being vulnerable, Chillingworth had no meaning to his life and became a withered away old man, both on the outside and the inside. His destruction could only be blamed on himself because he allowed his passion for destruction to take over his whole mind and body, and the only soul he ended up destroying was his own.

Dimmesdale was weak from the beginning of the book because he was so devoted to God and to being pure that he could not defend himself or his sanity. Once he had committed the act of adultery, his guilt grew heavier and heavier throughout the years that he had to keep it a torturous secret. Seeing Hester and Pearl daily was enough to drive him mad, but not knowing he was living with his worst enemy is what really weakened his soul. Dimmesdale had almost completely been drained out by Chillingworth before he realized who Chillingowrth was. Before his soul had completely been destroyed, he released it by confessing his sin to the whole town, and some say that the scarlet letter was imprinted on his chest. He was his own worst enemy because he allowed his guilt and Chillingworth into his mind, which destroyed his body and almost destroyed his soul. When he died, he thanked God for bringing him to confession by saying, "By bringing me hither, to die this death of triumphant ignominy before the people!"

The major characters portrayed both weaknesses and strengths. When they are deciphered, it is noticed that Hester was overall a strong person, Dimmesdale was a weak person, and Chillingworth fell right in-between, changing from strong to weak depending on the situation. Hester was strong enough to resist the destruction of her soul. Dimmesdale allowed Chillingworth into his soul, but with the help of Hester's strength, was able to free himself. Once Chillingworth could not manipulate Dimmesdale, he turned weak and old. All of the changes the characters went through depended on both their actions and the actions of everyone around them.
Return to