The Scarlet Letter Essay, Research Paper
By: Jennifer Popp
Hester Prynne was a beautiful, young, tall woman with shiny dark hair, piercing black eyes, and a beautiful complexion. She was living in Amsterdam with her husband, Roger Chillingworth, until he sent her to America alone while he cleared up business matters. In America, Hester had a love affair with Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and realized she was pregnant with his baby. Nobody realized who the father was, so the Reverend couldn t be punished. However, Hester was forced to wear a large scarlet A(representing Adultery) on her dress. It was a well-known symbol, so everybody knew she had committed adultery and were astonished. This was because adultery was a sin explained in the Seventh Commandment. Hester felt ashamed. After she completed community service, she truly learned her lesson and her citizens accepted her once again. She was also permitted back into Boston after her daughter married and the father of the baby died. She then became a reverend figure whom people confided in and received sympathy from. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale was young, very pale, and his body was fragile. He had large, caring eyes and a sweet, youthful personality women adored. He was shy and mainly kept to himself. Reverend Dimmesdale was deeply loved by his congregation because of his emotional way of speaking. Being a well-educated, trustworthy, highly admired pastor, no one suspected him to be the father of Hester s baby. Finally, his conscience fell into play and he admitted to his sin. Immediately after confessing, he passed away. Roger Chillingworth was Hester s husband. He was small and thin with dim eyes, a wrinkled face, and deformed shoulders(one was higher than the other). To me, he made an awkward couple with Hester, considering she was considered gorgeous. After he cleared his business matters in Amsterdam, he attempted to join his wife, Hester Prynne, in America. However, he was captured by Indians. By the time he reached his wife, 2 years since he last saw her, she was already up on the scaffold. He visited her in prison and pleaded for her not to reveal the fact he was her husband. He d be ashamed to marry a disgrace people looked down on. However, he too should have been ashamed. He also committed sins. The first was marrying Hester. Although she had no desire to become hitched to him, he ignored that fact. The love was unrequited. The other sin was when he judged Reverend Dimmesdale and spent hours scheming up plots to make him lose his sanity, while he pretended to be his loyal friend. Pearl was the illegitimate daughter of Hester and Reverend Dimmesdale. Her name was chosen because she was brought into the world at a great price and she s all Hester had . She was a beautiful girl with a bright complexion, eyes possessing depth and glow, and glossy, shiny hair. She was graceful and had perfect shape. Her personality was just as perfect. She was extremely smart, imaginative, and determined, so she was most likely to be a huge success. She also showed responsibility. When Hester intentionally tried to lose her scarlet A, it was Pearl who insisted Hester kept it. She was significant because she was a reminder of Hester s love affair and sins. When Chillingworth died, Pearl got a large inheritance. At the end of the book, Pearl was supposedly living in Europe with a member of the nobility as her husband. However, nobody knew exactly where she had gone. The mysterious letters that arrived at Hester’s cottage gave the townspeople only vague hints. Master Brackett was the keeper of the prison. He was old with dim eyes and a wrinkly face. He was mentioned only for a short amount of time in the book. He brought Roger Chillingworth to Hester while she was in prison. Also, he smiled and nodded at Pearl and Hester while everybody waited for the Election Day festivities to begin. The Commander was the captain on the ship Hester and Reverend Dimmesdale hoped to board. He was in his middle ages. He made Hester realize Roger Chillingworth would be sailing with Pearl, Reverend Dimmesdale, and Hester herself. Governor Bellingham was the one who witnessed Hester s punishment on the scaffold. A pious Puritan, Governor Bellingham represented political authority in Boston. He was a wealthy, elderly gentleman who spent much of his time consulting with other authority figures such as Dimmesdale. Because he was sympathetic, Hester pleaded to him not to let Pearl be taken away from her. Mistress Hibbins – Mistress Hibbins was Governor Bellingham s sister. She lived in the same luxurious mansion as her brother. She was not married and was commonly known to be a witch. Also, she was known for being bitter-tempered . Because she was connected with the devil, supposedly, she tempted both Hester and Reverend Dimmesdale to become more involved with evil practices. She was later executed. Reverend Mr. John Wilson was the eldest clergyman of Boston, and was a scholarly theologian. He was the one who persuaded Reverend Dimmesdale to question Hester about the father of Pearl. Because Hester refused to reveal the identity of Pearl s father, John made a long speech to the crowd gathered about the sin of committing adultery. His speech was meaningful and I believe it was effective.