Essay on Hester Prynne
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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, a dark tale of sin and redemption,centers around the small Puritan community of Boston during the 17th century. In the midst of this small community is Hester Prynne. She is a woman that has defied the Puritans, taken the consequences and in the end conformed with the Puritans. It did, however, take great effort to settle down and become a women of honor again.
Hester Prynne, through the eyes of the Puritans, is an extreme sinner. She has gone against the Puritan ways by committing Adultery. The Puritans believed that Hester was a lost soul that could only be saved by sincere and thorough repentance. For this…show more content…
The letter was beautiful. Hester, being a talented knitter, knitted the most beautiful looking A. One knew that she had put time into making the letter. The letter was also the color scarlet. In the Puritan society were all clothing was gray, black, and white, the scarlet letter stood out. Hester Prynne was different from everyone else in this Boston town.
As she stood on the scaffold, Hester held her newborn Pearl. pearl was the outcome of her unfaithfulness. Pearl had been adequately named, for she was of extreme value to her mother. Hester’s subjection to the crowd of Puritan onlookers is excruciating to bear. One might think that it would have been better if Hester had left the town. Then she would not have had to endure such torture. Hester, however, knows that this is her town and she cannot leave. She knows that this small town is part of her identity. She can only find comfort in holding her child close to her heart as she stands up on the scaffold. This action is a symbolic comparison between the child and the scarlet letter, implying that they are truly both intertwined.
After her horrible ordeal, and her release from prison, Hester and Pearl reside for the next few years in a hut by the sea. Hester tries to keep her distance from the Puritans. She does not want them to influence Pearl. Hester wants to raise Pearl, and find peace within herself. Pearl, however,
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In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne and her daughter Pearl
are isolated from society; this is shown by where they live, the action from people toward
Pearl and Pearl's reaction, and finally the response of the community toward Hester's
scarlet letter. Hester and Pearl are isolated by living so far out as they do. Pearl shows
signs that she is brought up without a friend in the world but her mother. The response
toward Hester's scarlet letter from the town's people show how she is isolated. Hester
and Pearl are isolated from everything in the world but each other.
Hester's new home is the biggest factor in saying that they are isolated from the
world. Hester finds an abandoned cottage on the outskirts of town, within verge of the
peninsula, but not in close vicinity to any other habitation (Hawthorne 77). Hester must
ask the magistrates if she can live in the abandoned cottage (Hawthorne 78). Hester tells
the magistrates that she is going to stay in town, since it reminds her of her sin and in that
way punishes her(Hawthorne 78). This house was far enough from civilization that
Hester and Pearl did not have a friend in the world besides each other.
Pearl, is a descendent both of sweet children who fashioned a play maiden out of
snow and of the friend's infants who stoned the gentle boy(Van Doren 130). Pearl causes
several disturbances to Hester throughout the novel. Governor Belligham plans to take
away the child, if it was not for Dimmesdale Pearl may have left her mother's
arms(Hawthorne 109). All that Pearl and Hester had were each other(Hawthorne 85).
Hester Prynne is constantly pointed out for her sin, because of the scarlet letter
she is forced to wear. Hester, whose solitary thought takes her far beyond the confines of
the code, she is not the subject of a sermon; she is the heroin of a tragedy and
understands the tragedy(Van Doren 132). After Hester settled in to her life she had to
get a job, so she sewed. People looked upon Hester's sin rather than Hester's ability to
sew, in that she was not allowed to sew on bride's dresses(Hawthorne 79). Hester was
pointed out as a flaw in the society which she was not even a part of.
Hester and her daughter live a life isolated from the world. They depend only on
each other. Society immediately isolated them because of Hester's sin. There is no
solution in life for Hester's sin. There was no other solution for Hawthorne's story, given
Hester's strength, Dimmesdale's weakness, and Chillingworth's perversion, than the one
found(Van Doren 132).
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