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Character analysis of Hester Prynne

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Character analysis of Hester Prynne

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  • July 31, 2005
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Character Analysis: Scarlet Letter-Hester Prynne

The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne is a complex novel with in depth characterization. This analysis is about Hester Prynne, the main character and focuses on three of her attitudes, appearance, and morals.

Hester's physical appearance is developed and referred to often throughout the novel. Hawthorne paints a picture for the reader of Hester's beauty.

She had dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it through off the sunshine with a gleam and a face regularity of features and riches of complexion, and the impressiveness belonging to a marked brow and deep black eyes. (Hawthorne, 50)

The author also describes Hester as being of modest decorum. "With almost serene deportment, therefore, Hester Prynne passed through this portion of her ordeal, came to a sort of scaffold, at the western extremity of the marketplace. (Hawthorne, 52) As the story is told, the author often refers to Hester's attitude as well as her appearance.

Hester is portrayed as having a strong will and attitude in the Scarlet Letter. She kept her spirits high even when she thought she faced death. She managed to maintain her strength throughout her battles.

With her native energy of character and rare capacity, it could not entirely cast her off, although it had set a mark upon her, more intolerable to a woman's heart than that which branded the brow of Cain. In all her intercourse with society, however, there was nothing that made her feel as if she belonged to it. every gesture, every word, and even the silence of those with whom she came in contact, implied and often expressed, that she inhabited another sphere, or communicated with the common nature by other organs and senses than the rest of human kind. She stood apart from mortal interests, yet close beside them, like a ghost that revisits the familiar foresides, and can no longer make itself seen of felt. (Hawthorne, 77-78)

Hester's attitude is directly related to...