Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter Essay

1053 Words Sep 23rd, 2015 5 Pages
Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter tells a story of guilt, shame, and hardship. Through the book, he writes of two main characters ' lives. A common theme throughout the very different individuals ' stories is; one should always be true to others as he would be to himself. The author illustrates the corrosion and corruption that occurs when you put up a mask to the public, while also displaying the counter, a freeing life of accepting who you are. Hawthorne contrasts the two outcomes by describing the peaceful life lived out by Hester Prynne, an admitted adulteress, and the guilty life of Arthur Dimmesdale. In order to portray the hard yet liberating life of someone who is very honest with themselves and others, Hawthorne shares the story of Hester Prynne, an adulteress who has had a baby out-of-wedlock. The author sets up an ironic scaffold scene to start the book, in which Hester stands proud, barring an “A” for adulteress on her chest, and she does not show any shame. Hester comes before the town holding her infant, and “[she] has never…appeared more lady-like…than as she issued from the prison” (Hawthorne 51). She does not want to appear like a coward to the people, so she acts eerily calm in the situation and successfully proves herself as a confident woman to the readers. Hawthorne to an extent,"… [portrays] the Puritans as unforgiving and Hester as unrepentant," to prove the extreme contrast of how most would act (how she is actually feeling), and her physical…

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