The Scarlet Letter

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne Pages: 2 (665 words) Published: May 12, 2011
The Scale Hangs Fairly Balanced
An affair can change a person’s life. That is exactly what happens to Hester Prynne in the novel, The Scarlet Letter. The novel was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne was born in 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. He was a dark romantic writer who wrote about 17-century Puritan life. Puritans came from England to America in search of religious freedom. The life of a Puritan revolved around their religion. They spend their entire life avoiding sin and living simply. Hester Prynne, the main character, is a young Puritan woman who commits the greatest sin: adultery. Not only was her adultery a sin, it was a crime. Later on her husband Roger Chillingworth takes some of the blame for the affair. In the novel The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Roger Chillingworth believes that both he and Hester were equally to blame for the affair.

It is known that in The Scarlet Letter Roger Chillingworth spends more time focused on his studies and furthering his knowledge than spending time with his wife, Hester. In the novel, Chillingworth says, “It was my folly and the weakness. I – a man of thought, the bookworm of great libraries – a man already in decay, having given my best years to feed the hungry dream of knowledge” (78). Although he is hurt and angry, Chillingworth feels partly to blame for Hester’s adultery. He feels he did not give Hester the attention a young woman needs. Neglecting a significant other will in no way help a relationship. Spending more time focused on a job or studies will put a tremendous amount of strain on a relationship, just like it did for Hester Prynne and Roger Chillingworth.

Roger Chillingworth blames himself for the affair although it was not entirely his fault; Hester is equally to blame. While Chillingworth and Hester are speaking to each other, Hester says, “Thou knowest that I was frank with thee. I felt no love nor feigned any” (79). Hester claims she never really loved...
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