Essay On The Sinner In The Scarlet Letter By Hester Prynne

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Nathaniel Hawthorne in his novel, The Scarlet Letter, portrays the life of a sinner in a Puritan society. He displays how self and public guilt can deteriorate a human. Hawthorne uses the characters Hester Prynne, Roger Chillingworth, and The Reverend Dimmesdale to show that allenation and shame result in deterioration of one’s self. Hester Prynne is the first character Hawthorne presents as a sinner. Hester Prynne is publically shamed and alienated by the town because of her sin. Hester Prynne is a strong character even though she is shamed publicly many times on the scaffold, she does not give up on her. Hester Prynne’s strength as a woman defines her character. It is shown when “she took the baby on her arm” stands on the scaffold “with …show more content…
Hester Prynne sews that scarlet letter ,A, on bosom herself. The townspeople notice that Hester Prynne is amazing at sewing because of the craftsmanship on the scarlet letter she wears. The scarlet letter that is on her breast is “elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread” this shows Hester Prynne's true character because even when being punished she will always look better than the townspeople.(50) While standing on the scaffold Hester Prynne is demanded by the town to ,”give your child a father!”(64) Hester Prynne replies “I will not speak!”(64) showing truely how strong her character is. Hester Prynne dening to reveal the name of the man she committed the crime with shows strength in her character because she is willing to take the full punishment rather than betray the man who is equally guilty. Although, Hester Prynne is a very strong woman she can only endure for so long, years …show more content…
Dimmesdale, the man, that committed adultery with Hester Prynne has a different type of punishment in some ways worse and others better. Dimmesdale's punishment is self inflicted through his own personal shame, self alienation and torture. Dimmesdale punishes himself privately, “Under lock and key, there was a bloody scourge.”(132) The town does not know about Dimmesdale's secret. Dimmesdale is punishing himself for the sin he committed but ,”Could not purify, himself”(132). The guilt Dimmesdale feels throughout the novel deteriorates Dimmesdale mentally, “His brain often reeled.” Dimmesdale's self inflicted torture deteriorate his sanity drastically when ,”Visions seemed to fit before him,”(132). When Pearl describes Dimmesdale it show what Dimmesdale has become because of his self punishment ,”A strange , sad man is he, with his hand always over his heart.”(205) Dimmesdale throughout the novel has his hand over his heart symbolizing that he is heart broken because of the sin he committed. Dimmesdale ends up revealing his secret to the entire

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