Hester As A Flawed Character Essay

731 words - 3 pages

In the novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is prosecuted for committing adultery. Initially the townspeople are disgusted and outraged by her abhorrent deed however as the story progresses, the Puritan society begin to respect Hester Prynne and in the eyes of the people she transforms from 'adulterer' to 'able'. The Puritan society regarded Hester as a failure as a mother, wife and representative of her sex. However as the story unfolds, this view changes.In the commencement of the story, Hester Prynne was publicly humiliated as a punishment for breaking a Puritan belief and one of the Ten Commandments; adultery. She was forced to stand upon "the scaffold of the pillory" in front of the town for hours where the town judged her for the sin and crime she committed and not the women she was. The townspeople did not see her as a necessity but as a nuisance to get rid of. In this regard, Hester Prynne was regarded as a failure as a woman, mother and as a wife by society. Consequently, she was ostracized and banished from the community.Likewise, the Puritan Society initially regarded Hester as a bad mother as her child's "innocent life had sprung, by the inscrutable decree of Providence". Consequently they believed that she would be a poor role model for her child. Society's view of Hester as a bad mother is evinced by the recurring debates of whether Pearl should be taken away from Hester.Similarly, she is initially regarded as a failure as a women and wife due to her inability to remain faithful to her husband. The community felt that Hester "had brought shame upon [them] all, and ought to die". Throughout the novel, Hester and Pearl are constantly derided by the townspeople. Even at church, Hester's crimes would be mentioned publicly hence taking away any dignity left in her. Fear was the impetus that drove the Puritans to exclude Hester Prynne from society. This new society was afraid that their community would fall apart "in a land where iniquity is searched out and punished" if they did not seek out individuals that were depraved. Consequently, Hester Prynne is banished from...

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