Analysis Of Hester Prynne In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s historical fiction novel,The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is not repressed but is rather freed by wearing the scarlet letter. She becomes a critical thinker who transcends societal norms. Hester starts out as being a passionate and somewhat naïve woman. When the scarlet letter adorns her bosom, she questions society and becomes wiser. Hester starts to become aware of injustice and hypocrisy in the Puritan community. She changes the meaning of the letter in the eyes of the townspeople. Hester is a living example that people can change for the better and one’s sin does not define in one’s life. The scarlet letter may have intended to repress and restrict Hester Prynne, but in reality it afforded her a freedom of mind …show more content…
When she wears the scarlet letter, she gains insight into the lives of other people. She realizes that other people have also sinned, although their sins aren’t plastered on their chests. Hester figures out how hypocritical it is of the townspeople to judge her for her sin, when in reality, their doings were sometimes no better than hers. She also discovers the hypocrisy of the clergy. For example, Arthur seems to be the most holy of all the Boston citizens, when in reality he is a cowardly and hypocritical sinner, whom should not be preaching about sin to the churchgoers. Hawthorne states, “She assumed a freedom of speculation…which our forefathers, had they known of it, would have held to be a deadlier crime than that stigmatized by the scarlet letter" (Hawthorne 149). This demonstrates how the scarlet letter did not repress Hester ,but rather gave her an insight into the Puritan community that only an outcast could have. Also, if the citizens of Boston knew what she was thinking, they would acknowledge this critical thinking and questioning as a bigger sin than her previous one. This freedom of thought and mind is only achieved through Hester’s public ignominy. One cannot be repressed if one is entitled to freedom of the …show more content…
Any pain or shame Hester feels, she inflicts upon herself. She makes the decision to commit adultery and should take responsibility for her actions. As Hester ascends the scaffold, many townspeople notice that the scarlet letter upon her bosom is large and ornate. Hester fashions the symbol herself and creates it in her own image. She purposely makes her sin define who she is. She even dresses in dark and sombre clothing, which isn’t required. Although Hester is shunned, she makes no attempt to communicate with her community and lives this way long into her life. The community learns to adore her and forgive her misconduct. Hawthorne demonstrates the townspeople’s changed view of Hester, stating, “…people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman 's strength” (148). Despite this, she chooses to live her life in anguish and solitude. Long after Puritans ruled Boston via theocracy, she comes back to the settlement to continue her torment. She wears the scarlet letter despite it being unrequited. Hawthorne mentions that the townspeople would state things such as, “‘Do you see that woman with the embroidered badge?..It is our Hester, —the town 's own Hester, —who is so kind to the poor, so helpful to the sick, so comfortable to the afflicted!’”(133). They learn to love and revere her for he accomplishments, and it

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