A Bittersweet Battle Of The Scarlet Letter Essay

1403 Words Oct 13th, 2014 6 Pages
A Bittersweet Battle “Life, at best is bittersweet.”
- Jack Kirby
Comic writer Jack Kirby’s quote reflects greatly upon Hester Prynne’s struggle with her punishment throughout Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter. Kirby’s quote helps explain that everything in life is bittersweet; Hester’s punishment included. Hester in many ways rose up above her punishment and became an iconic symbol, but the guilt of her sin constantly plagued her thoughts, which resulted in defeat against her penance in many circumstances. Hester Prynne’s triumph over her punishment is deemed to be bittersweet; Hester allowed the punishment to tragically alter all the qualities that make her a woman and continued to punish herself even upon death, however; Hester proves to be victorious over her punishment in many ways as she cast off her sin both physically and mentally, while turning into a representation of comfort and self sacrifice.
Hester Prynne’s willingness to give in to her punishment and allowance for it to consume her, resulted in a transformation of her characteristic grace and outward appearance. Absorbed by her punishment; Hester’s graceful nature and external prescience took on a lackluster change, ultimately being replaced by new attributes. While observing Hester’s change after her punishment, the effect the Scarlet Letter had on Hester’s character is noted as the narrator says, “All the light and graceful foliage of her character had been withered up by this red-hot brand,…

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