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Mistress Hibbins- Scarlet Letter

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Mistress Hibbins- Scarlet Letter

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  • March 19, 2006
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Mistress Hibbins, a characterin Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, is a widow who lives with her brother, Governor Bellingham, is his mansion. She often shows up when Hester is in a time of crisis. She is a secondary character, but she is an important one because she is sort of an all knowing character and shows things that no one else does. Mistresss Hibbins shows how the forest is outside of the town both literally and figuratively. The townspeople believe the forest is where evil takes place, but the forest is the place where some characters go to get away from the hypocrisy and evil of the town. Mistress Hibbins, as the Governor's sister, would not be expected to constantly go the forest. It seems like she should prefer to stay in her brother's lavish and luxurious mansion, which is an example of hypocrisy since Puritans are supposed to live very simple lives, but she chooses to be outside of the society, in the forest, than be a part of it. She participates in midnight rituals for summoning the "Black Man", the devil, so she is considered by the townspeople to be evil and a witch. Though Mistress Hibbins may be regarded as satanic, she does hide anything like Dimmesdale or Chillingworth does. Pearl is able to see Mistress Hibbins is not fake in any way when she calls her, "good Mistress Hibbins" (210). When Hester goes to the Governor's house in part to deliver a pair of gloves she embroidered but also to convince the Governor not to take Pearl away, Mistress Hibbins is there. She knows of Hester's bad circumstances and so she invites Hester to a midnight meeting in the forsest. Hester she replied she would have had she not have to take care of Pearl. Mistress Hibbins' conversation with Hester show that Pearl is really all Hester has to live for. Mistress Hibbins is very perceptive can see things that no one else knows. However, she does not gossip about them like other women in the town would. For example, she knows of Hester's and Dimmesdale meeting in the...