Adversities Of Life: How To Respond

1541 words - 7 pages

The definition of struggling is to: make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction. All people go through struggle at one point or another in their lives, regardless wealth, religion, or ethnicity. What truly defines how benevolent one is, is how they respond to the adversity that they face. For example, the death of a loved one, a spouse cheating on the other spouse, a sinful act, or perhaps undeserved humiliation are all applicable. Throughout The Scarlet Letter three characters encounter a desperate struggle, each commits a different sin, and each character handles their unique struggle in a different manner. In the Scarlet Letter, author Nathaniel Hawthorne sends his readers a message—how to cope with the sin within one’s self; he shows us three ways manage our sins with the use of three characters (Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmsdale, and Roger Chillingworth.) Hester Prynne represents the sin of adultery, but she also represents redemption because of the way she responds to her delinquencies. Arthur Dimmsdale is the second character that Hawthorne uses to portray sin, and Dimmsdale is the symbol of lust; he also uses Dimmsdale as a symbol of hidden sin. Finally, the sin of anger is represented by the embodiment of the devil the evil, Doctor Roger Chillingworth.
Hester is the one character who openly addresses her sin to God as well as the community. She is the most dynamic character in the book. She represents not only adultery but also the forgiveness of sin, and hope to those who still need to find the enlightenment. “Lastly, in the lieu of these shifting scenes, came back the rude market-place of the Puritan settlement. With all the townspeople assembled and leveling their stern regards at Hester Prynne,—yes, at herself—who stood on the scaffold of the pillory, an infant in her arm, and the letter A, in scarlet, fantastically embroidered with gold thread, upon her bosom! (Narrator p56)” This quote is extracted from the scene where Hester is upon the scaffolding in the town square. This quote proves that Boston used Hester as a scapegoat, or moral sacrifice for all of their sins. The color and thread of the embroidered “A” (for adultery) along with the infant in her arms confirms her sin. At this point in the novel the Puritans use her as a scapegoat for their sins because they are fearful that others will notice their sins, this is why the citizens punish her so severely. They want the attention of others to be drawn to her crime so their own moral shortcomings will go overlooked. “The letter was the symbol of her calling. Such helpfulness was found in her,—so much power to do, and power to sympathize—that many people refused to interpret the ‘A’ by its original signification, They said that it meant able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength. (Narrator p146)” This quote demonstrates what a dynamic character Hester is. She starts off being shunned by her whole community, but after she started to...

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