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"Strength In The Face Of Suffering" The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne: An Essay About How Suffering And The Burden Of Wearing The "A", Changed Hester's Life

929 words - 4 pages

It is often said that pain and suffering can strengthen the character and spirit of a person many times beyond the regular growth of the human soul. This is very true of Hester Prynn, a young and lonely woman, who is convicted of the unforgivable sin of adultery; which is magnified many, many times more because of the time and society in which she lives. Nathaniel Hawthorne's, The Scarlet Letter, is the story of a young mother, Hester, who is required by the strict laws of her society to wear a scarlet letter upon her bosom, which identifies her as an adulteress.Hester's enormous sin, unforgivable in her time but perhaps excusable in ours, places her in a position of suffering and makes her ...view middle of the document...

And at the end of the book, Hester's one sympathizer is dead.Being alone and living in a home, on the outskirts of town, Hester is provided with nearly no social interaction, other than the few taunts that children throw her way. To survive and to feed Pearl and herself, Hester is forced to work for the very people who despise her. This lack of social interaction, and the independence and self-reliance, which she has, are the factors which lead to her becoming a stronger person and being able to protect herself, much like a caterpillar forming a cocoon, a shell, a barrier. On the other hand, Hester Prynn, unlike the caterpillar, does not have the opportunity to reemerge from her cocoon with wings and to fly away and leave her troubles behind. There is only one instance in the story where Hester emerges from her cocoon and lets her defenses fall. This lowering of her defenses takes place during a romantic encounter in the woods with the Rev. Dimmesdale, the father of her child and the partner in her sin.Towards the end of the book, a change comes over Hester. She plans an escape with the minister, an escape into a new life, in which she and the reverend can live happily ever after. But as in real life, happy endings rarely happen and are often marred by some unforeseen incident. Although Hester is strong, and has become strong as a...

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