The Significance Of The Scarlet Letter “A” Essay, Research Paper
The Significance of the Scarlet Letter ?A?.
Hawthorne?s The Scarlet Letter deals with many motifs, the most powerful being punishment. In this novel, Hester Prynne becomes a highly respected person in a Puritan society by overcoming one of the harshest punishments, the scarlet letter. This object on ?her bosom? (60) does the exact opposite of which it is really meant for. Eventually, Hester inverts all the odds against her due to her courage, pride, and effort. Hester went beyond the letter of the law and did everything asked of her in order to prove that she is ?Able? (156).
Hester became quite a popular seamstress, admired all over the town of Boston for her work. Hester is modest in everything that she does. Hester herself wears only poor clothing, while she embroiders marvelous works for the rest of Boston. Hester was not allowed to embroider objects pertaining to a wedding however. This was because the objects for a wedding represent the values of marriage, and she had committed adultery. By committing adultery, she broke her vows of marriage. She had went against the promises in marriage, so why should she embroider objects for someone else?s wedding. Hester still does the job willingly and rarely ever looks back to the horrid past. Hester always wore the scarlet letter ?A? with pride and dignity. She knew that what was done in the past was wrong and that the scarlet ?A? was her punishment, therefore it is worn with a sense of pride. She wore it with pride because she never cared what others thought of her, never took it off, and never seemed to have complained. She had only stated that the ?badge of shame? (110) had ?taught her daily? (100).
Hester?s child, Pearl, is ?a blessing and as a reminder of her sin? (93). As if the scarlet ?A? was not enough punishment there ?was a brat of that hellish breed? (100), which would remind Hester of what had happened in the past. The ?brat? could have been given away to Governor Bellingham, but Hester proclaimed that Pearl ?is my happiness!? Ye shall not take her! I will die first!? (112). Pearl was Hester?s gift from God, although the townspeople believed that she was sent from the ?demon offspring? (243). Little Pearl was also Hester?s child from Dimmesdale, whom she loves. So, Hester being a tender and affectionate mother would not want to give up her only child, she would give her life instead. Not a person in Boston, or Hester herself thought highly of the little elf child, but Hester still refused to let Pearl go. Hester carried the child around only because she was a direct reflection of her sin. Throughout the chapters, Hester keeps Pearl closer and closer to her side.
I admire the main character Hester because she never gave up hope and never did a job poorly. In the city of Boston, ?many people refused to interpret the scarlet ?A? by its original signification. They said that it meant ?Able?; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman?s strength? (156). By the end of the novel, the people of Boston believe in Hester and accept her because she is a laborious, productive worker in the Puritan society. The townspeople were reconsidering whether Hester was still worthy of wearing the scarlet letter, by the time Hester was about to leave with Dimmesdale (her lover). The people of Boston realized that Hester had learned her lesson from committing adultery, and whatever evil was contained within her, turned into competent.
?In Adam?s fall, we sinned all.? This quote from Bay Psalm Book could be connected to Hester. The Puritans were very upright and believed that they too were sinners and were still paying for their original sin created by Adam and Eve. Hester Prynne committed a terrible sin and had to pay for it for the rest of her life. Being one of the main characters, the reader was able to see how Hester changed throughout the book. She went from being a character of shame, to a character of admiration. That sin of adultery had a huge impact on Hester?s character. By reading actively to the end of the novel, the reader was able to see that the scarlet letter was ?something to be sorrowed over, and looked upon with awe, yet with reverence too? (244). This was because Hester had changed the way people thought about the scarlet letter. It was worn on such a magnificent person, who had realized her faults.
We can learn something from Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter. She changed from being a contemptible member of the Puritan way of life into a decorous woman.
People who are looked poorly upon can still show their virtuous personalities and overcome any tragedy.