The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

1099 Words Oct 23rd, 2016 5 Pages
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter takes place in the seventeenth century, in a Puritan town of Boston. The female protagonist, Hester Prynne, has been found guilty of adultery and is condemned to bear a scarlet A meaning “Adulterer” on her chest for the remaining of her natural life. She must also stand exposed to public humiliation on the scaffold for three hours. Hester’s lover Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is the moral center of the Puritan community they reside. Reverend Dimmesdale, if discovered to have fathered a child with another man’s wife would face eternal ruin. Despite society’s disapproval, Hester decides to stand alone in her position. Hester emerges as a selfless lover who accepts her fate without any sign of defeat and making no demands on Dimmesdale. Throughout the novel, Hester Prynne overcomes public humiliation and resists against the predetermined ideals that her town holds for her. She refutes the shallow and stereotypical image that women need to be dependent on men. Hester’s husband is a much older scholar who sent her ahead to America but never ended up arriving in Boston. The general agreement is that he had been lost at sea and presumed dead. Since Hester’s daughter, Pearl, was born more than nine months after she left her husband in England, her fellow Puritans know that she has apparently had an affair. To the Puritan community, Hester has consciously gone against the church values that stress holiness and purity which makes Hester a…

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