Analysis Of Hester Prynne In Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

788 Words 4 Pages
In the novella The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays Hester Prynne as the heroine by displaying differences between Hester and the other characters. From the onset of the novel, Hester is made to wear a scarlet letter “A” on her breast to show that she had committed adultery. Throughout the novel, Hester is repeatedly tormented about this mark as one townswoman remarked “let her cover the mark as she will, the pang of it will be always in her heart,” as Hester walked by (Hawthorne 78). Others in the town remarked that they believed that the ministers “should have put the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne's forehead,” to mark her as an adulterer, rather than giving her a mere mark as a reprimand (78). The “A” that marks Hester’s breast sets her apart from other characters physically and brings her to …show more content…
When describing Hester Hawthorne vividly describes her as a "figure of perfect elegance on a large scale," whose "dark and abundant hair, [was] so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam" (Hawthorne 81). By making the reader imagine a woman of great beauty Hawthorne contrasts the Hester with other characters by displaying their flawed appearances in great detail. Furthermore the diction that Hawthorne uses in his description of Hester; "her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the misfortune and ignominy in which she was enveloped" tells the reader that Hester’s appearance is angelic (Hawthorne 81). Therefore Hawthorne seems to be placing Hester an a pesistal in comparison to other character’s to indicate that anybody who would see her would assume that she was an Angel free of sin, until they saw the scarlet A, the crucial flaw to a perfect complexion much like the Hero Achilles one flaw of his heel, the only point where anyone could hurt him, like the scarlet A being a way to hurt

Related Documents