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The Scarlet Letter

By | December 2012
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The Scarlet Letter

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” This quote was said by T.S. Eliot. In the novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, there are three main characters that face risks throughout the story. Hester, the main character, faces the most risks than anyone without a doubt. Chillingworth, her secret husband in the novel, also faces risks but that is his own fault. Also Dimmesdale, who secretly committed the horrible sin of adultery with Hester, faces risks quite similar to Hester.

Hester is the main character and she endures risks throughout the entire story. In the beginning of the novel Hester is forced to stand on the scaffold with an embroidered A on her chest as a punishment for adultery. Although she didn’t commit this sin on her own she takes the full blame. She also has her daughter Pearl and raises her as best that she can. Hester makes a huge risk by staying in town and being embarrassed instead of moving away and starting a new life. Another risk Hester makes is keeping many secrets to protect other people. One secret she keeps is who Chillingworth really is, her husband. She also keeps the secret of who committed the ultimate sin of adultery with her, who was shockingly Dimmesdale, the Minister of their town. Risking all of this coming out in the open could make her life much worse but she stays true to her word. Near the end of the novel Hester is planning on risking everything to leave her town with Dimmesdale and Pearl and start a new life but out of nowhere Dimmesdale passes away. After everything was said and done, Hester took risks for everything she felt necessary. Although she kept secrets she stayed true to herself and others throughout the novel.

Dimmesdale is another character from the novel that takes many difficult risks. Dimmesdale’s character is the town’s minister and just also happens to be the man who committed adultery with Hester. As you may imagine...
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