Regaining God's Love
The Scarlet Letter tackles topics rarely discussed in that time period. The book relates the harshness of an over-religious community. As well as the strength of a single woman and her trials with an unforgiving religion. The way Hawthorne depicts Hester shows the readers that, despite her circumstances, she can remain strong and accept the consequences of her sin. She never denies her sin and accepts the punishment that was given to her by her Puritan community. This woman, who bore her punishment alone and lived through a storm of ridicule, seems very powerful. Dimmesdale, although he does not bear any public punishment, he creates his own private punishment. Mentally, Dimmesdale undergoes very severe punishment. [Thesis] In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the principle characters, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale, change over the course of the book in personality, appearance, and social status. When the book begins, Hawthorne describes Hester as strong, proud, and shameless. As the chapters progress, Hawthorne compares Chillingworth and Hester by stating that Hester has been "strengthened by years of hard and solemn trial . . ." (153), although she has lost some of her pride. After her punishment has long been over, Hester finally regains her strength, even though she is still ashamed of her sin. Dimmesdale, on the other hand, begins this adventure as a timid and nervous reverend. Through his own private punishment, he becomes weaker and weaker and even gets close to insanity. "She saw that he stood on the verge of lunacy . . ." (152). As the book nears its conclusion, Dimmesdale reveals his sin and, before he dies, sheds his grief and mental anguish. Hester's and Dimmesdale's personalities and mentalities change drastically. The appearances of the two characters change drastically as well. When Hester Prynne is introduced, Hawthorne describes her as "tall, with a perfect elegance . . ." (50) Unfortunately, as the story...
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