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Common Task: A Study Of A Character: Hester Prynne

1116 words - 5 pages

If one were to give an example of an interpretation on what an adulterer may be, one may think of negative aspects, whether physical, emotional or mental. This adulterer could have a personality where everything that occurs in life has to revolve around themselves, including their wrongdoings. What they achieve in life is for their own benefit, and those around them mean little to possibly nothing in their minds. As outcasts, adulterers are seen as those who should never be looked up to, for they have caused chaos in their own lives without any positivity for the future. Looking into a religious point of view, the sins of those who commit adultery are seen as unforgivable. The Puritans give a clear example of this religious opinion, for in The Scarlet Letter, they punish those who sin. For being an adulterer, those accused were to wear a scarlet red A for the rest of their life as punishment. However, Hester Prynne, an adulteress, took the scarlet A not as just a punishment, but as an opportunity to change her life for the better. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne goes through life changes based on her choice of being an adulterer, however, this negative punishment eventually causes her lifestyle to become positive.
When one is introduced to Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter, she is depicted as a symbol of femininity. Hester exemplifies most of her femininity whilst imprisoned, her beauty outshining her shame. She defends herself with silence, refusing to answer during the minister’s interrogation, standing firm on the scaffold through her sad eyes. At this point in her life, condemned for eternity to wear the ashamed symbol on her breast, she explains to Chillingworth, her husband and acting doctor that she wishes for death, since her past has wronged her and thus changes her life for the worse. She returns to her home, secluded from the town, and through her sadness, continues her lifestyle with her daughter, Pearl, by her side. Her child is a constant reminder of her past and wrongdoings, and worries that Pearl will become a living evil from her sin. Yet, she loves and defends her child to the best of her ability, and teaches her positivity and love in order to keep her away from the sin that once possessed Hester in her past. Hester possesses the skill of needlework, her clothing worn by many in town. Although many wear her designed clothing, she is still an outcast, her scarlet A burning like a brand on her breast when others look at her, causing her to lose her mental strength. In time, she learns to accept her shame, and allows herself to look beyond the staring glances and live her life through the shame.
As time goes on, Hester’s reputation grows more positive in the eyes of the Puritan people, for she spends her time helping those in need in any way she can. Her shameful punishment, which once caused her pain and sadness, grew to describe her as “able”, for she is a woman with independence, who grew through her past, and prospers...

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