Essay On Hester Prynne In The Scarlet Letter

1143 Words 5 Pages
Etienne FRADY 02/18/2016
Scarlet Letter fiche de bac

Character List

1) Hester Prynne: Hester Prynne is the fullest character in Hawthorne’s novel. She is Pearl’s mother. A scarlet letter on her chest is one of the most important physical aspects of this character. Hawthorne contrasts Hester’s faithfulness with the adulteress unfaithfulness that could be imagined whilst thinking about the traits of an adulteress. The reader is brought up to like Hester as the narrator describes all of her positive aspects. Although she is a Puritan, the narrator approaches Hester’s description in a subtler manner. Thus inciting the reader to enjoy her, especially in comparison to other characters in the novel.
2) Pearl: Pearl is the
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Hawthorne seems to glamorize women. For example, both Hester and Pearl seem to be designed to be likeable characters. However, Pearl’s image is less pure than Hester’s. “ that little creature, whose innocent life had spring, by the inscrutable decree of Providence”. This passage strongly contrasts with Hester’s almost perfect description: “she had dark and abundant hair (…) and deep black eyes”. It could be supposed that Hawthorne idealizes Hester more by physical description and Pearl by her values that the reader will encounter throughout the book. It is simply important to note that the author idealizes the female sex in different manners. Them being by explicit physical descriptions like Hester’s, or others being a general accumulation of values and characteristics that help the character’s rise in popularity for the reader. The only exception of the female idealization theme is Mistress Hibbins who is clearly described as being a witch. Her manner of death is a form of imagery that sort of justifies and shows the reader the fates of witches in the Puritan community. An important combination that can be noted is the fact that when Hester and Pearl are together, the narrator seems to support the two women even more than when they are alone. As if they were more susceptible to critics as when they are alone. “She clutched the child so fiercely to her breast(…) the shame were real”. Despite the

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