Character Analysis Of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter Analysis
Hawthorne wrote the Scarlett Letter to convey an important moral “Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred” (Hawthorne 231). Some characters in the novel battled with themselves and hid their sin from the world. While others showed the world who they truly were. Hawthorne shows that being honest can lead to the path of redemption. Furthermore, he illustrates that if a person isn’t truthful to the world and themselves about their sin, it will inevitably destroy them. The use of characters such as Dimmesdale, Chillingworth, and Hester Prynne contribute to the idea that being true to oneself and the world is a constant struggle and is
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She even says “In all things else, I have striven to be true! Truth was the one virtue which I might have held fast, and did hold fast, through all extremity; save when thy good, - thy life, - thy fame, - were put in question!” (Hawthorne 175). Even though she committed a crime, Hester is truthful about it and never runs away from her penance. She acknowledges her sin and accepts her punishment. Furthermore, she wears her “A” with pride by embellishing it with scarlet and gold. Although, being alienated by the community is nearly unbearable, it shows that Hester has great courage and strength. In the novel, “[Hester 's] sin is public, and she grows stronger; by contrast Dimmesdale 's sin is secret, and he grows weaker" (Swisher 52). This public acknowledgment of her sin helps her maintain her faith and sanity while Dimmesdale loses his. Hester’s strength in the face of rejection and isolation shows how being honest about one’s sin can lead to redemption. She becomes a “sister of mercy” by offering comfort to the poor, the sick, and the oppressed. Hester is able to comfort others because her heart has felt the same emotions. This causes the townspeople to see her differently and treat her with respect (Hawthorne 146). The meaning of the Scarlet letter is changed to “able” to represent her compassionate heart; “[it] ceased to be a stigma which attracted the world’s scorn and bitterness, and became a type of something to be sorrowed over, and looked upon with awe, and yet with reverence, too” (234). Being honesty to the world and to herself brought her redemption which allows her to help

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