The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

1186 Words Oct 12th, 2015 5 Pages
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s historical fiction novel,The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is not repressed but is rather freed by wearing the scarlet letter. She becomes a critical thinker who transcends societal norms. Hester starts out as being a passionate and somewhat naïve woman. When the scarlet letter adorns her bosom, she questions society and becomes wiser. Hester starts to become aware of injustice and hypocrisy in the Puritan community. She changes the meaning of the letter in the eyes of the townspeople. Hester is a living example that people can change for the better and one’s sin does not define in one’s life. The scarlet letter may have intended to repress and restrict Hester Prynne, but in reality it afforded her a freedom of mind that was unmatched by anyone else at the time. Hester Prynne decides to accept her fate as an adulterer and let it define who she is. The charge for adultery at the time is death. However, the government officials, many of whom are also clergymen, take it upon themselves to reduce Hester’s punishment. They decide Hester is young and beautiful woman, and her husband may be dead. She also has a child, who needs a mother. Above all, they decide that it would be a worse punishment for Hester to live in shame. Despite this, Hester is not prohibited from leaving Boston. She could easily leave and start her life anew. Also, Governor Bellingham could have easily taken Pearl away from Hester so she could be raised by a more proper and suitable…

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