Scarlet Letter Character Analysis

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"The Scarlet Letter" is generally about Hester Prynne, the novel is not so much a reflection of her character, but a view of her transformation through out every chapter. The author told very little about Hester life prior to her affair with Dimmesdale and her resultant public shaming. She married Chillingworth although she did not love him, but never fully understand why. In the early chapters of the book, prior to her marriage, Hester was a powerful and spontaneous young woman, the fact that she has an affair also suggests that she once had a passionate nature. What happens after Hester's affair is what makes her into the woman we are familiar with. Shamed and alienated from the rest of the community, Hester becomes reflective on life. Hester's troubles also lead her to be stoic and a free spirit. Although the narrator pretends to disapprove of Hester's independent philosophizing, his tone indicates that he secretly admires her independence and her ideas. Hester also becomes a kind of compassionate maternal figure as a result of her experiences. Throughout "The Scarlet Letter" Hester is portrayed as an intelligent, capable, and strong-willed woman who is highly disregarded for her stand. Hester moderates her tendency to be rash, knowing that this behavior could cause her to lose her daughter, Pearl. Hester is has a value to society, she cares for the poor and brings them food and clothing. By the end of the novel, Hester has become a feminist mother figure to the women of the community. The shame attached to her scarlet letter is long gone. Women recognize that her punishment came from the town fathers' sexism, and they come to Hester seeking shelter from the sexism they suffer.
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