Set in 17th-century , during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of , who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of and. The world had been so cheerless! Living in a Puritan Society, where they had strict rules that everyone had to abide by, the society showed that men overruled women, and women were subjects to men. His death on the scaffold, after his public confession and embrace of Hester and Pearl, takes place in accord with the Puritan tradition he represents. Symbolically, when Hester removes the letter and takes off the cap, she is, in effect, removing the harsh, stark, unbending Puritan social and moral structure. But Hester maintains her dignity well, and proves to be the strongest and most independent character in the novel.
Hawthorne shows that hypocrisy is indeed a sin by punishing the offenders. Following her release from prison, Hester settles in a cottage at the edge of town and earns a meager living with her needlework, which is of extraordinary quality. Domestic though this form of artistry may seem, it nonetheless becomes a pervasive influence, in daily contact with human flesh. Another way in which Hester is hypocritical is her agreement with Chillingworth to keep his name a secret. Temptation got the best of both of them and a child was created, Pearl. She looks to the local pastor for comfort; somewhere along the way passion emerges, culminating in the conception and subsequent birth of their child, Pearl. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is about the trials and tribulations of Hester Prynne, a woman living in colonial Boston.
In other words, she's no longer a pure woman—because she's had sex outside of marriage—but she can become a saint if she's able to put up with the scorn of the town. Hester is portrayed as having a strong will and attitude in the Scarlet Letter. Described as a young woman, her actions are 'marked with natural dignity and force of character. Hester appeals to Dimmesdale in desperation, and the minister persuades the governor to let Pearl remain in Hester's care. Hester, shocked by Dimmesdale's deterioration, decides to obtain a release from her vow of silence to her husband. It is through Hester's strength of character and her ceaseless good deeds that the collective mindset of the town begins to change in her favor.
Chapters 2-3 When Hester Prynne is first introduced in the novel, she comes off as a young woman who has lost all control of her life due to her adultery conviction. Hester has many qualities about her that make her different from the whole Boston community. Chillingworth, an old, crippled scholar, convinced her that he could make her happy, then sent her off on her own to the New World. He applies psychological pressure to the minister because he suspects Dimmesdale is Pearl's father. Prynne is imprisoned with her child, both of whom are emotionally and physically exhausted from the punishment at the scaffold. Here had been her sin; here, her sorrow; and here was yet to be her penitence.
Hester has proven once more that she does worship her daughter and deserves to have her stay in her safe-keeping. With two different lifestyles, this act of adultery affects each of them differently. This represents the constant state Dimmesdale finds himself in. Her shame in the face of public opinion, her loneliness and suffering, and her quiet acceptance of her position make her respond to the calamities of others. Having long dark hair and black eyes, Hester Prynne was considered very pretty, even with all of the horrible things happening to heart that time. Governor Bellingham This actual historical figure, Richard Bellingham, was elected governor in 1641, 1654, and 1665. Hester Prynne, through the eyes of the Puritans, is an extreme sinner; she has gone against the Puritan ways, committing adultery.
This evidence shows that Pearl is happy living with her mother and would hate to be taken away from her. The mirror and the killer-queen: otherness in literary language. New York: American Heritage Publishing Company, Inc. It pains Hester to watch her child go about the world as if possessed by an agent of Satan, and she both loves, and in some ways, loathes the child. She is not able to go anywhere without people running away from her, because they do not want to catch her evil spirits.
After preaching a powerful sermon, the good minister was walking along with the crowd, when he felt the weight of an overbearing guilt upon his shoulders; a power that he had felt before had grown immensely domineering upon his frail frame. For just as Hester reveals her womanhood in all its sensuality, she immediately thinks of the fruit of their love, Pearl. What is the source of this strength? Another strong trait of Hester's is her honesty. Later in the novel, when Chillingworth is at his height of having his way with Dimmesdale, the weakened minister, Hester and Arthur meet in the forest to discuss their future. Hester is beautiful not only on the inside, but also physically attractive on the outside. After seven years, when she sees what Chillingworth is doing to Dimmesdale she decides not to keep quiet anymore, here is where she regains her full independence. If Hester had not been hypocritical, if she had instead told the townspeople how she truly felt, then perhaps she would have earned their respect and not have forced to undergo the humiliation and punishment of the scarlet letter.
She is a symbol of the acknowledged sinner; one whose transgression has been identified and who makes appropriate, socio-religious atonement. In this painting, The Scarlet Letter by , Hester Prynne and Pearl are in the foreground and Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth are in the background painting by , 1861. If she be all tenderness, she will die. Hawthorne paints a picture for the reader of Hester's beauty. Later in the novel, we discover that Arthur Dimmesdale is the confidential lover. The Scarlet Letter has been misinterpreted for a host of reasons, but perhaps the most salient is that Hawthorne intended it to be misinterpreted. He is a symbol of the secret sinner; one who recognizes his transgression but keeps it hidden and secret, even to his own downfall.
He decides to allow Pearl to stay with her mother after Dimmesdale pleads on her behalf. Rebel With a Cause No matter how much Hester might look and act like the perfect Puritan woman, she's hiding some major turmoil. New York, New York: Norton, 1961. The infamous scarlet A that she is forced to wear to shame her begins to be recognized as a symbol of her goodness. When Governor Bellingham orders Pearl to be taken away from her, Hester wonders whether a woman must die for following her heart, prompting Dimmesdale to intercede as a subtle way of taking responsibility for the affair. Hester has become a disciple of Emerson. Also when the young minister speaks up for Hester in why Pearl should stay with her mother, making good points, and allowing Pearl to stay with Hester until further notice; Pearl lays her cheek on the ministers hand as a thankful action.
Pearl constantly reminded Hester of her. 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. Hester Prynne, through the eyes of the Puritans, is an extreme sinner; she has gone against the Puritan ways, committing adultery. Leaving the community certainly would be a way for both Dimmesdale and Hester to leave their pasts behind. Hawthorne's Haunts in New England. Then, the big day came, and Hester was gleaming with joy in anticipation of a new life without ridicule or guilt. The Scarlet Mob of Scribblers: Rereading Hester Prynne.