Essay on The Scarlet Letter By William Shakespeare

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It is a question if Hester Prynne is actually sorry for the acts she committed. Hester Prynne, in the Scarlet Letter, commits the sin of adultery and is branded with a letter ‘A’ being embroidered on her dress. She accepts this punishment, as she believes she deserves the public ridicule and shame. However, Nina Baym in “Who? The Character.” The Scarlet Letter: A Reading, states she believes Hester isn’t as sorry as she seems to the townsfolk. Baym believes Hester does try to realize the choices she made was wrong, but argues because Hester still loves Arthur Dimmesdale and her child of sin, Hester is not sorry. Yet, looking at the textual evidence, another opinion comes into mind.

Baym wonders how Hester can believe her sin was wrong if she still loves both Dimmesdale, whom she sinned with, and her child, Pearl, who was the result of that sin. This statement seems a little flawed, however. After all, it’s arguable whether Hester truly loved Pearl, or if it was something like motherly instinct or perhaps even loneliness that kept her close. “Her Pearl!-For so had Hester called her; not as a name expressive of her aspect, which had nothing of the calm, white, unimpassioned lustre that would be indicated by the comparison. But she named the infant “Pearl,” as being of great price,-purchased with all she had,-her mother’s only treasure.” -Chapter 6, Page 138. This statement, in other words, says the entire reason Hester named her daughter Pearl, was because a pearl is a…

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