Shame in the Scarlet Letter

Topics: Shame, Embarrassment, Blushing Pages: 2 (728 words) Published: April 30, 2012
Shame of Teenage Pregnancy and the Scarlet Letter

Shame affects everyone in their lives sooner or later. People don’t all feel it in the same way. In the book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne the main character Hester Prynne knows how it feels to be ashamed or embarrassed. She’s shamed because while she was married she cheated on her husband. She ended up having a baby with another man. To punish her she was commanded to wear a letter “A” for adultery, by the townspeople, to always be reminded of what she did. During the book Hester tries her hardest to not show her embarrassment but it still ends up coming out in certain parts. Another person that tries to be strong during what could be very shameful experience is a teenager that’s pregnant. Hester’s scarlet letter and a teenage pregnancy can be very similar in regards to shamefulness and the problems that come with it. The way I look at it, is that the teenage pregnancy is the new scarlet letter for this time period. I say this because it’s always there reminding them of their mistake, and it’s something they don’t want people to know but they’re obviously going to find out. Since, teenage pregnancy has been happening a lot more often people have become more understanding about it. If this happened back then imagine what they would have done. Hester was an adult and still had a horrible punishment, now if she was a teenager the punishment probably would have been times worse. Like I said Hester tried to be strong in the whole situation. While she was on the scaffold she had a “burning blush and yet a haughty smile” (50). This showed that even though she was trying to make it seem like it didn’t bother her; it still did with her burning blush. What the burning blush meant was that her face was red and she was embarrassed with herself. On the other side the girls that are pregnant as teenagers have to face a lot of shame. They have many of decisions to make like if they...
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