Hester Prynne And Arthur Dimmesdale In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale are required to deal with the internal and external backlash of sinning in a highly religious Puritan community in colonial America. Hester’s daughter Pearl constantly reminds her of her past fault and she is also the labled as the product of sin by the community. Hawthorne displays the rigidness in Puritan society by exhibiting the community’s unequivocal view of Hester and Dimmesdale’s sin of adultery. Although the two committed the same sin, their reactions on how to move forward with their lives is completely different. Hawthorne deliberately contrasts Dimmesdale 's ingenuine character with Hester’s bona fide character to highlight moral strength as a necessary …show more content…
Hester feels she cannot escape her sin and her past life, even though she has been forgiven for her sinful ways by the town. After many years away from the town, Hester suddenly returns to her old house on the outskirts of town, where her sin and sorrow dwelled, and where “was yet to be her penitence. She had returned, therefore, and resumed,-- or of her own free will, for not the magistrate of that iron period would have imposed it,-- resumed the symbol of which we have related so dark a tale” (165). Hester returns to her old home to repent for her past sins, and resumes the affliction of the Scarlet letter, as she once had beared it. Even though the punishment the town forced upon Hester terminated, she is still chained down by her sin and previous actions, and cannot be liberated. While she could have moved on and developed a new life, Hester’s strong morals cause her to proceed in carrying her past sin upon her sleeve because she feels the need to help other women who are in the same situation as she was with the townspeople. Hester feels that she has a mission to help others who have experienced the same moral issues and punishment as her, illuminating the growth of her moral strength. When Hester comes back to town she also begins to help women who come to her cottage in “the continually recurring trials of wounded, wasted, wronged, misplaced, or ering and sinful passion,- or with the dreary burden of a heart unyielded, because unvalued and unsought” (165). Hester feels obligated to help these “wretched” women of the community to overcome their overly passionate ways, like she once had. By carrying on her legacy of the Scarlet letter with these new women of the town, Hester displays her drastic increase in moral strength since the time that the sin first took

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