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

He calls them "pitiless. The irony here is that they are, in fact, Christians. As such, they ought to be merciful and forgiving, generous and loving. Instead, these women suggest that Hester instead of only wearing her letter

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

Symbolism and Character Analysis A bestselling story and a popular read even today, The Scarlet Letter is a marvelous story that comes from the mind of Nathaniel Hawthorne, a brilliant and legendary writer. This Penlighten article analyzes the symbolism used in this famous tale, and also provides a brief look into the characters that made it what it is.

Penlighten Staff Did You Know? There is still some doubt surrounding how Hawthorne had decided to write The Scarlet Letter. Some say he was to write it as a short story, but his agent James Fields convinced him to turn it into a novel. However, those claims have now been proven false.

Written way ahead of its time and set in Puritan era Boston, this is a story about a woman, Hester Prynne, who lives her life like a criminal, yet never ceases to do as much good as she can. Helping the needy people of the society that once shunned her, her image is somewhat restored in society later on, although it may have been too late for that.

It takes place in the 17th century, when the Puritan law was prevalent and going strong, and adultery was equated with a criminal offense. The hardships that Hester faces, her guilt, her shame, her vengeful husband set out to find her lover, and the lover who lets her take all the blame - all these aspects are described beautifully in the tale.

Fraught with astute symbolism, it takes more than one read to really do justice to the essence of the story. Discussed below in brief are some of the symbols used in The Scarlet Letter, their meanings, and before that, a detailed analysis of the characters.

Those who make up the story Hester Prynne Hester is the main character, who has been accused of adultery and publicly scorned. She lives with her daughter in a small hut outside town, and earns a meager living by embroidering clothes. A kind woman at heart, she helps people who are in need, as is shown by the end.

Her love for Dimmesdale makes her take the entire blame for her sin and never reveal his name. She even makes a plan to run away to Europe with him and her daughter to escape from Chillingworth.

Plot analysis

Her love for her daughter Pearl is deep and true, and she does what she can to protect her. She does not let the scarlet A define her life, but resumes wearing it and helping people until the end.

On her death, she is buried next to Dimmesdale, with an A engraved on their tombstone. Arthur Dimmesdale He is a minister in the town of Boston, and a much-loved and respected man at that.

Although everyone holds him in high regard, he is living a secret till the end. However, guilt and shame begin to do him in soon, and their weight begins to affect his physical and mental health.

Unable to bear the anguish and inner torment, he finally confesses in front of the entire town, revealing the A seared into his chest. He is a physician, who comes to Boston to find that his wife is being tried for adultery.

He warns Hester not to say anything, threatening to hurt her lover if she does. The brilliant man that he is, he soon figures out that Dimmesdale is the culprit. He begins to torture the minister mentally to find out the truth. There is pure evil in his intentions, and he is a man set out to avenge himself.

However, when Dimmesdale dies after confessing his sins, the doctor does not have any purpose left in life, and passes away soon enough.

Expert Answers

A rather difficult child, she likes to be free and even refuses to listen to her mother at times. She likes to stay in the forest and avoids going into the town that humiliated her mother.

She loves her mother, and is always trying to do things to make her happy. In the end, when Dimmesdale confesses that she is his daughter too, she is content, and becomes a quiet and calm child.

However, she believes that her mother must live with the A on her dress because that is how she identifies Hester, and asks her to pick it up herself and wear it, when Hester takes it off in the forest. It signifies many things throughout the story.

In the beginning, it is used as a symbol of adultery and sin, when Hester is forced to wear it and stand on the scaffold for the whole town to see.

It represents shame and penance. When she goes to visit the Governor, she stands in front of a mirror and sees the letter become magnified and take up almost the entire reflection. This probably symbolizes that it has taken over her life, and governs every day of her existence.

It is a constant reminder of what she has done. However, later on, its meaning changes for Hester.The Scarlet Letter: A Romance, an novel, is a work of historical fiction written by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne.

It is considered his "masterwork". Set in 17th-century Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony, during the years to , it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a classic which is the main reason I chose to read it. But, besides being a classic, it is also a very good book, and I enjoyed it immensely, though the ending was disappointing in that it was a little vague as to the fates of some of the characters.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (–).The Scarlet Letter. The Custom-House Introductory to “The Scarlet Letter”. Complete summary of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Scarlet Letter.

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

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. Hester Prynne - Hester is the book’s protagonist and the wearer of the scarlet letter that gives the book its letter, a patch of fabric in the shape of an “A,” signifies that Hester is an “adulterer.” As a young woman, Hester married an elderly scholar, Chillingworth, .

SparkNotes: The Scarlet Letter: Plot analysis