The Scarlet Letter-Analysis of Hester

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  • Topic: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Pages : 2 (799 words )
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  • Published : April 2, 2011
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Analysis of Chapter 13: Another View of Hester

The title of Chapter 13 is "Another view of Hester". This chapter is a discussion of Hester's personality, intellect and character as well as an update of several years she had been passing through. “Another view” in the title refers to both the changing perception of the Puritan society toward Hester and also the description of her which narrator told.  Hester's position in the eyes of the Puritan community has considerably changed due to her kindness and charity. She has borne her shame and sorrow with great dignity. The town describes her now as one "who is so kind to the poor, helpful to the sick, so comfortable to the afflicted!" Hester has become very active in society. She brings food to the poor; she takes care of the sick. Now the scarlet letter has magical qualities, and myths are growing around its power, more people are beginning to interpret the “A” on her chest as meaning “Able” rather than “Adulterer.”. But this new definition of Hester Prynne is not without a price. Her luxuriant beauty, and the warmth, charm, and passion that she once showed have been replaced by coldness, severity, and drabness. There is no affection, love, or passion in her life. Her humanity has been stripped from her by the severity of her punishment, and her charity and benevolence seem mechanical. “Some attribute had departed from her, the permanence of which had been essential to keep her a woman.”(160) It reveals that Hester had been afflicted with a conscience, and the letter “A” is whipping her heart all the time to remind the sin as well as confining Hester’s in an invisible jail. But this jail never confined her thought; actually it became a single space for Hester. Burning by the “red-hot brand” of the letter, Hester has become “a bare and harsh outline” of her former self. She has become more speculative, thinking about how something is “amiss” in Pearl. Her life, having “changed from passion and feeling to...
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