An analysis of the character of hester in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

Hester Prynne, a young wife whose husband has been missing for over a year, is accused of adultery following the birth of her infant daughter Pearl. In a shameful public ceremony, Hester is forced to stand on a scaffold for more than three hours and submit to an interrogation. She refuses to reveal the name of her child's father, which angers the Puritanical citizens of Boston.

An analysis of the character of hester in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

While Hawthorne does not give a great deal of information about her life before the book opens, he does show her remarkable character, revealed through her public humiliation and subsequent, isolated life in Puritan society.

Her inner strength, her defiance of convention, her honesty, and her compassion may have been in her character all along, but the scarlet letter brings them to our attention.

She is, in the end, a survivor. Hester is physically described in the first scaffold scene as a tall young woman with a "figure of perfect elegance on a large scale. In fact, so physically stunning is she that "her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the misfortune and ignominy in which she was enveloped.

Her beautiful hair is hidden under her cap, her beauty and warmth are gone, buried under the burden of the elaborate scarlet letter on her bosom.

When she removes the letter and takes off her cap in Chapter 13, she once again becomes the radiant beauty of seven years earlier. Symbolically, when Hester removes the letter and takes off the cap, she is, in effect, removing the harsh, stark, unbending Puritan social and moral structure.

Hester is only to have a brief respite, however, because Pearl angrily demands she resume wearing the scarlet A.

With the scarlet letter and her hair back in place, "her beauty, the warmth and richness of her womanhood, departed, like fading sunshine; and a gray shadow seemed to fall across her.

Hester Prynne

What we know about Hester from the days prior to her punishment is that she came from a "genteel but impoverished English family" of notable lineage. She married the much older Roger Chillingworth, who spent long hours over his books and experiments; yet she convinced herself that she was happy.

When they left Amsterdam for the New World, he sent her ahead, but he was reportedly lost at sea, leaving Hester alone among the Puritans of Boston.

An analysis of the character of hester in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

Officially, she is a widow. While not a Puritan herself, Hester looks to Arthur Dimmesdale for comfort and spiritual guidance. Somewhere during this period of time, their solace becomes passion and results in the birth of Pearl. The reader first meets the incredibly strong Hester on the scaffold with Pearl in her arms, beginning her punishment.

On the scaffold, she displays a sense of irony and contempt. The irony is present in the elaborate needlework of the scarlet letter.

The first description of Hester notes her "natural dignity and force of character" and mentions specifically the haughty smile and strong glance that reveal no self-consciousness of her plight.

While she might be feeling agony as if "her heart had been flung into the street for them all to spurn and trample upon," her face reveals no such thought, and her demeanor is described as "haughty. In this first scene, Dimmesdale implores her to name the father of the baby and her penance may be lightened.

Despite her lonely existence, Hester somehow finds an inner strength to defy both the townspeople and the local government. This defiance becomes stronger and will carry her through later interviews with both Chillingworth and Governor Bellingham.

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When the governor determines to take Pearl away from her, Hester says, "God gave me the child! He gave her in requital of all things else, which he had taken from me. Ye shall not take her! I will die first! I will not give her up! Hester defies Chillingworth when he demands to know the name of her lover.Hester Prynne.

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Although The Scarlet Letter is about Hester Prynne, the book is not so much a consideration of her innate character as it is an examination of the forces that shape her and the transformations those forces effect.

We know very little about Hester prior to her affair with Dimmesdale and her resultant public shaming.

We read that she married Chillingworth although she did not love. Use our free chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis of The Scarlet Letter. It helps middle and high school students understand Nathaniel Hawthorne's literary masterpiece.

Hester Prynne. Although The Scarlet Letter is about Hester Prynne, the book is not so much a consideration of her innate character as it is an examination of the forces that shape her and the transformations those forces effect.

Plot analysis. The Scarlet Letter is a novel about what happens to a strict, tight-knit community when one of its members commits a societal taboo, and how shame functions in both the public and private realms of initiativeblog.com telling the story of the adulterous but virtuous Hester Prynne; her weak, tormented lover Dimmesdale; and her vengeance-minded husband, Chillingworth, Hawthorne explores ideas. One example of situational irony is in Hawthorne's depiction of the Puritans, especially the women, as they gaze on Hester upon the scaffold. He calls them "pitiless self-constituted judges.". Plot analysis. The Scarlet Letter is a novel about what happens to a strict, tight-knit community when one of its members commits a societal taboo, and how shame functions in both the public and private realms of initiativeblog.com telling the story of the adulterous but virtuous Hester Prynne; her weak, tormented lover Dimmesdale; and her vengeance-minded husband, Chillingworth, Hawthorne explores ideas.

We know very little about Hester prior to her affair with Dimmesdale and her resultant public shaming. We read that she married Chillingworth although she did not love.

The Scarlet Letter Summary - initiativeblog.com

A Character Analysis of Pearl in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Words | 6 Pages. A Character Analysis of Pearl in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Word Count Includes Outline at the End of the Paper The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a book of much symbolism.

Plot analysis. The Scarlet Letter is a novel about what happens to a strict, tight-knit community when one of its members commits a societal taboo, and how shame functions in both the public and private realms of initiativeblog.com telling the story of the adulterous but virtuous Hester Prynne; her weak, tormented lover Dimmesdale; and her vengeance-minded husband, Chillingworth, Hawthorne explores ideas.

Hailed by Henry James as "the finest piece of imaginative writing yet put forth in the country," Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter reaches to our nation's historical and moral roots for the material of great tragedy.

Set in an early New England colony, the novel shows the terrible impact a.

Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter': Symbolism and Character Analysis