The Scarlet Letter Theme Essay

794 words - 3 pages

In Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, The Scarlett Letter Hester Prynne faces myriad obstacles due to harsh Puritan punishment which helped craft her into a stronger woman. She was given a scarlet letter from the community to alienate her from the rest society. The society built by the Puritans, in settling the New World, was stern and repressive, no place for a vibrant, healthy woman with a self esteem that could not be destroyed by a constant public humiliation. Hester is forced to wear the scarlet letter "A" which initially stood for adulteress. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel Hester Prynne grows from a victim of Puritan punishment to a strong, decisive woman who is eventually admired by the community.Hester Prynne makes a magnificent transformation throughout the novel. Her transformation begins at the start of the novel when Hester comes to the New World and into the Puritan society. She first comes out of the jail due to the crime she has committed of adultery where she bearing her love child, Pearl and wearing a scarlet "A" on her chest to keep as a reminder of her sin. Many of the townspeople in the community talked about her every time they saw her because they all knew of her crime. For example, one person said "…the Reverend Master Dimmesdale, her godly pastor, takes it very grievously to hear that such a scandal should have come upon his congregation" (Hawthorne 47). The "A" Hester wore on her chest made sure that she would be one who was alienated from the rest of society. Hester paid no mind to these people seeing as she was able to overcome the primary meaning of her "A". Hester's scarlet "A" meaning soon changed from adulteress to able. She was able to support her daughter Pearl because of her impressive needle work that she sold. At this point she was somewhat accepted by society. Hawthorne states that, "She possessed an art that sufficed, even in a land that afforded comparatively little scope for its exercise, to supply food for her thriving infant and herself" (Hawthorne 75). Hester's journey was a long one however; she was able to go from adulteress to able, and now to angel. Hester knew that she would not always be known as an adulterous and because of that she was able to become an angelic figure within society. During...

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