Hester's Romantic Ideals In The Scarlet Letter

1074 words - 4 pages

“Be true! Be true! Be true!” (202). This powerful and simple message can be seen throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter. The characters Hester Prynne, Roger Chillingworth, and Arthur Dimmesdale portray this message clearly. Hester lived this message. She was very true to herself and wore her “A” proudly giving her a more fulfilling life. She was true to herself and everyone around her allowing her to make her own experience, a concept the Romantics values greatly. Romantic literature portrays messages and characters like the ones in The Scarlet Letter to explain the value of truth and experience. Throughout the book evidence of this can be clearly seen making it a good example of Romantic literature. The Romantic Movement started in America by American artists and authors. The Romantics had strong beliefs expressed through their writing, music, and artwork. Many novels from this movement in American history are still read and taught today. By reading this book and many others, American people may learn more about the Romantic Movement in history and about the values expressed through the artwork and literature.
Hester Prynne is first introduced as “[a] young woman [who] was tall, with a figure of perfect elegance on a large scale. She had dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam…”(46). Hawthorne portrays her as very beautiful making the reader see Hester as a poised and proud woman. This shows that Hawthorne likes Hester and wants the reader to feel that from him. Hawthorne gives Hester many of the Romantic traits. An example can be seen where her hair was described as “so glossy it threw off the sunshine with a gleam...”(46), the reader can see that Hester makes her own truth. The Romantics believed that there was truth in light. Because the light reflects off of her hair, Hester makes her own truth and her own experience with it. While her face is very beautiful showing the attitude the reader has towards Hester, her clothing shows her inner personality. “Her attire… modeled after her own fancy, seemed to express the attitude of her spirit. the desperate recklessness of her mood, by its wild and picturesque peculiarity” (46). This description of Hester’s clothing contradicts the description of her face. Her face is described as attractive and gives the reader a feeling that she is an elegant young lady, but her clothing gives the reader a much different feeling about her. Four years later Hester undergoes a transformation. “It was a sad transformation, too, that her rich and luxuriant hair had either been cut off, or was so completely hidden by a cap, that not a shining lock of it ever once gushed into the sunshine” (128). Hester had to become more responsible and reserved letting the scarlet A become her truth. She now appears more refined and proper. She lost her wild appearance and her reckless personality. The community and the reader’s perspective of Hester have completely changed. Romantics used...

Find Another Essay On Hester's Romantic Ideals in The Scarlet Letter

Romanticism in "The Scarlet Letter" Essay

612 words - 2 pages the romantic ideal of one finding a independent, personal meaning to their life. The puritan society is continually held by Hawthorne in low regard, as he degrades their actions, from the hypocrisy of their judgment, to their single-track minded view of the world.Thus, Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is a true romance novel, as he builds it upon the foundations and principles of romanticism. From the deep rooted love of nature, to the encouragement and value placed in original and free thought, to emotional liberation, Hawthorne's novel is a standard classic of the genre.Works CitedThe Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter Essay

916 words - 4 pages Symbolism in the Scarlet LetterSymbolism in the Scarlet Letter Abstract: The Scarlet Letter is the first symbolic novel in America playing a very important role in studying symbolism in American literature. Nathaniel Hawthorne used symbolism through this work to imply his opinions and hopes about Puritanism. This article aims to study two main symbols and some inconspicuous symbols in The Scarlet Letter.Key Words: Symbolism; Puritanism

Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter

916 words - 4 pages Symbolism in the Scarlet LetterSymbolism in the Scarlet Letter Abstract: The Scarlet Letter is the first symbolic novel in America playing a very important role in studying symbolism in American literature. Nathaniel Hawthorne used symbolism through this work to imply his opinions and hopes about Puritanism. This article aims to study two main symbols and some inconspicuous symbols in The Scarlet Letter.Key Words: Symbolism; Puritanism

Sins in the scarlet letter

740 words - 3 pages The overpowering vengeance and hatred felt by Chillingworth caused his life to be centered on demeaning Dimmesdale and tormenting him until the end of time. From the beginning, Chillingworth showed no signs of guilt and let his life be consumed by sin. Roger Chillingworth committed the greatest sin in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter because he let himself be ruled by hatred and the consuming desire for vengeance. This becomes visible

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

1832 words - 8 pages Cursed with the permanent mark of adultery upon her bosom, Hester Prynne, the main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, The Scarlet Letter, faces many hardships and disgrace. Referencing these hardships, Hawthorne portrays the scarlet letter as the forbidden mark of adultery. Upon first meeting Hester, the scarlet letter is a symbol for adultery and disgrace. As the story progresses, the scarlet letter evolves into a symbol of

Symbols in The Scarlet Letter

1490 words - 6 pages Symbols in "The Scarlet Letter" In The Scarlet Letter, symbols appear everywhere. Hawthorne uses several different concrete objects to represent something of deeper meaning. Among these symbols is the scarlet letter "A" itself. It is made of red cloth and beautifully embroidered. It is a literal symbol of the sin of adultery. The letter "A" appears in several places and several forms. It is the letter that appears on Hester's heart that she

Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter

1206 words - 5 pages In the novel "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne symbolism is used to represent the evolution of the characters primarily that of Hester Prynne. Two of these symbols as they are used repeatedly create underlying truths telling their own story of growth and understanding as sunshine and the letter "A" bring to light who Hester Prynne truly is. The first and perhaps the most obvious use of symbolism in the novel follows the progression

Redemption in "The Scarlet Letter"

842 words - 3 pages occurrence. Sin extends Hester's strength and capabilities to serve others.Through out the novel Hester exhibits the strong ability to suppress the inferior attitudes and views the townspeople have of her and use them to her own advantage by proving she holds unique abilities. She nurses the sick back to health, brings food to the homes of the criple and poor and she is also an advocate for those who are in trouble. By wearing the scarlet letter

Witchcraft In The Scarlet Letter

851 words - 3 pages The Scarlet Letter Throughout The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne continually uses witchcraft and the devil as a theme. Hester Prynne, the main character, emerges from a prison in the first few pages of the book. So from the very beginning, it is known that she has committed a great sin of some kind. Many other characters other than Hester also have a connection with the dark side. It is this association with the devil that eventually brings

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

2319 words - 9 pages Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter "The common definition says that a symbol is a sign or token of something… We take symbols like these pretty much for granted. They are a part of everyday experience. In literature, matters are a little more complicated. Literary symbols usually don’t have instantly recognizable meanings. Rather they take their meanings from the work of which they are part" ("The Scarlet Letter" 8). An example of

Romanticism in The Scarlet Letter

1590 words - 6 pages A Puritan’s Folly“Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.” -Malcolm Muggeridge. This famous quote justifies that to be an individual, one must break from society and think for himself, and only when he has done this, is he truly alive. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter is about a courageous woman, Hester Prynne, and her struggle to split from society in order to live the loving life she has always

Similar Essays

Hester's Deconstruction Of Puritan Ideals In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

832 words - 3 pages The Scarlet Letter - Hester's  Deconstruction of Puritan Ideals     Hester, the protagonist in Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter, effectively challenges the efforts of the Puritan theocracy to define her, and at the same time, contain the threat she poses to the social order.   Throughout the novel Hester bears the mark of an "A" embroidered on her chest which was originally intended to label her as a social outcast, more

Hester's Alienation From Society Depicted In Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

996 words - 4 pages Throughout The Scarlet Letter, the moral and social values pertaining to the discrimination of females by society is revealed through the alienation of Hester Prynne, the main character in The Scarlet Letter. During The Scarlet Letter, Hester is punished for her adulterous relationship with Reverend Dimmesdale which results in a child named Pearl. As a result of the adulterous relationship, the authorities of The Puritan society that she is

Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" Hester's Alienation

1249 words - 5 pages Throughout his book The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne is preoccupied with the relationship between the individual and society. Hester's sin and subsequent condemnation alienate her. No where is this alienation more apparent than in Chapter 5, 'Hester at her Needle'. Condemned by her sin of passion, Hester is separated from her community, not only physically, as she lives on the edge of the town, and socially, as she this chapter

The Letter A In The Scarlet Letter

606 words - 2 pages comes to bear a new meaning, able. In the thirteenth chapter of this book, Hawthorne comes out and in the third person states "the scarlet letter had not done its office." Hester has gone beyond the letter of the law and done everything asked of her. She becomes quite a popular seamstress, heralded all over the townof Boston for her work. She herself wears only drab clothing of ordinary clothing, punishing herself with humility. There is only one