This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Duties Of The Scarlet Letter

1932 words - 8 pages

In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a woman named Hester Prynne is victimized by the puritanical society in which she lives in, due to her adulterous behavior. Hester is forced to wear a scarlet colored “A” which stands for “Adulterer” stitched on her bosom everyday as a permanent symbol and reminder of her sin, while she struggles to raise her daughter named Pearl by herself without a father figure in their family. The two undergo harsh judgments and alienation from the entire community throughout the novel. In addition to the struggles that Hester and Pearl encounter, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, the father of Pearl, also struggles internally with himself over his sin of committing adultery with Hester. As the novel progresses, the power of the scarlet letter is apparent through the way Hester becomes, as well as in the way the townspeople of their society view Hester. Although initially the scarlet letters appears to bring struggles and burdens to the three, it actually fulfills its duty by bringing redemption and changing the mindsets of the townspeople.
Not one person in our world is perfect. Although everyone has done something wrong, the weight of committing adultery in the puritanical societies of the 17th century was much heavier than of other behaviors deemed sinful. In puritanical society, women had the role of being submissive to men, and caretakers of the home and family. Women were expected to remain and serve their husbands and family faithfully without fail, therefore when it was known that a woman had committed adultery, people were looked down upon the woman very heavily. According to Puritan doctrine, the acts of adultery are extremely sinful and deadly; this is the reason why Hester was given such a punishment where she wasn’t killed, but was scarred with the scarlet letter “A” on her bosom. With a bright letter “A” on her chest, Hester as well as everyone who saw her could identify her as an adulteress. This identification marker clearly brought very much judgment, shame, and ridicule upon Hester. The narrator states, “…they kept turning around to stare at Hester, the baby in her arms and the shameful letter on her breast.” (62) They, being the young boys in the market who are not completely aware of the significance of the letter “A” still stare and mentally shame Hester for what she did despite the fact that they do not know what she did. This exemplifies the intensity of the shame the comes along with the punishment that Hester received, to the point where people who do not even know what she did still shame her. The purpose of the constant reminder may be a form of penance, an outward expression of repentance and self-improvement for committing something sinful. Her dedication to the seven years of wearing the red letter on the chest signifies her determination to be redeemed for her behavior through repentance and self-reflection. In addition to the mental attributes of wearing the scarlet letter, the red color...

Find Another Essay On The Duties of the Scarlet Letter

The Affects of the Scarlet Letter

1095 words - 4 pages Barnes PAGE 2 Cassidy BarnesCarrie HuskinsEnglish IIISeptember 13, 2012The Affects of A...When a child learns their ABC's, they never imagines that a tiny letter could affect their lives so drastically. The scarlet "A" Hester Prynne wears on her chest affects many different people throughout the book The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It has a major effect on Hester, of course; she is the most altered from beginning to end. The letter

The Significance of the Letter in The Scarlet Letter

1826 words - 7 pages The Scarlet Letter: The Significance of the Letter             Adultery has been around almost as long as people. It has maintained a harsh punishment, from banishment to death, but in the Puritan world of colonial America (from about 1620-1640), its punishment may have been worse than either. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is a lonely Puritan woman who commits infidelity with a preacher and has a son from the

The Scarlet Letter Essay

1257 words - 6 pages Hester Prynne has committed a crime that is hard to Discussdiscuss. She has started a huge scandal in the small community of from which she comes from. She committed the crime of adultery. She was tried and sentenced to wear the scarlet letter “A” Which which stands for adultery. She is forced to be publicly shamed for what she has done. The scarlet letter “A” is aan important symbol in this story . It symbolizes a different thing something

The scarlet letter

1217 words - 5 pages The Scarlet "A"In the novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hawthorne shows the reader the different meaning of the scarlet "A" from the different points of views which are symbolized by the characters and by the changing meaning of the scarlet letter. Each character plays a different role towards the meaning or symbolism of the scarlet letter. The characters also have meaning behind their names, such as Hester, Arthur Dimmesdale

The Scarlet Letter

593 words - 2 pages The Scarlet Letter "The Scarlet Letter", a fictional novel, is written by Nathaniel Hawthorne and was published in 1849. The story took place in New England in the seventeenth century. This was a time when a community exercised control over the moral behavior of its members. Those who broke the community's moral code were publicly humiliated by being placed on the scaffold. The story is structured around four characters: Hester, Pearl

The Scarlet Letter

1259 words - 5 pages Letter, by NathanielHawthorne, and The Crucible, by Arthur Miller. The Scarlet Letter displays a society that treats two people verydifferently who commit the sin of adultery together. The woman, Hester Prynne, admits her sin, is forced to alwayswear a scarlet letter A on her bosom, and is ostracized from society. The man, Reverend Dimmesdale, hides his sinfrom the world, is almost worshipped by the townspeople, but is filled with the shame of his

The Scarlet Letter

1524 words - 6 pages The trouble that one letter can cause to so many people can be described as nothing short of incredible. The power of the scarlet letter can change a life, a community, and be a harder punishment than people will ever understand. In the novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne gives the scarlet letter three significant meanings that are revealed through different scenes within the novel. The Scarlet letter was pushed upon Hester Prynne by

The Scarlet Letter

884 words - 4 pages The Scarlet Letter has been a dominant piece of literature in America for 400 years. The book is about a single parent, Hester Prynne, who is being publically shamed for committing adultery while her husband was at sea. Throughout the book, Hester tries to keep the identity of her daughter’s father secret, while living with the shame of wearing a scarlet letter “A” on her bosom. The perception of Hester Prynne, from the characters, narrator, and

The Scarlet Letter - 1061 words

1061 words - 4 pages The Scarlet LetterMany great works of literature are filled with material symbols that are meant to represent other deeper more meaningful things, none more so than the letter "A" in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter". In this book, Hawthorne provides us with an intricate plot that takes the scarlet letter through a rollercoaster of ups and downs, spanning the spectrum of positive and negative connotation throughout the course of the

The Scarlet Letter

1584 words - 6 pages Nathaniel Hawthorne"s, The Scarlet Letter is a book about a woman, Hester, who moves to Boston from England during the Puritan times. She has a husband, and tells the colonists of Boston he will be arriving to be with her soon. After years go by and he doesn"t arrive, Hester finds another man whom she becomes close to. She becomes pregnant and the town finds out she has committed adultery. She is forced to wear a letter "A,&quot

The Scarlet Letter

1015 words - 4 pages The Scarlet Letter A Critical Analysis of Hester Prynne The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne was written in 1849. This novel won him much fame and a good reputation as a writer. In writing The Scarlet Letter, Hawethorne was creating a form of fiction he called the psychological romance. A psychological romance is a story that contains all of the conventional trappings of a typical romance, but deeply portrays humans in conflict

Similar Essays

Hypocrisy Of The Scarlet Letter Essay

1749 words - 7 pages In The Scarlet Letter Hypocrisy is evident everywhere. The characters of Hester, Dimmesdale, Chillingworth, and the very society that the characters lived in, were steeped in hypocrisy. Hawthorne was not subtle in his portrayal of the terrible sin of hypocrisy; he made sure it was easy to see the sin at work , at the same time however, parallels can be drawn between the characters of The Scarlet Letter and of today’s society. The

Analysis Of The Scarlet Letter

1653 words - 7 pages Romanticism is categorized as "a preference for simplicity and naturalness, a love of plain feelings and truth to common place reality, especially as found in natural scenes". Nathaniel Hawthorne was an anti-transcendentalist and believed in the dark side of man, hence his dark romantic novel The Scarlet Letter. This allegorical novel depends heavily on symbol and character. The novel is chock full of symbolic dimension of images, characters

The Scarlet Allegory: The Symbolism Of The Scarlet Letter

1044 words - 5 pages Throughout history, imagery has been used in literature to provide an emotional depth and prevalence to literary works that would otherwise be lost in time. The Scarlet Letter is an emotional, Puritan-era novel that focuses on the harsh and controversial topics of adultery, sin, hypocrisy, and judgment. The Scarlet Letter tells the sentimental story of Hester Prynne, a young Puritan woman who has been condemned to wear a scarlet A after she

The Sin Of The Scarlet Letter

652 words - 3 pages book sympathizes with Hester and her sin, I also believe The Scarlet Letter denounces sin by exploring the struggles and hardships that both Hester and Dimmesdale have to confront throughout the novel. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne tells the story of Hester Prynne, who struggles because of the public denunciations that she faces for committing the sin of having an extramarital affair. As the story progresses, the perception of her sin grows