What does it mean to be perfect? Everyone knows there is no such person, someone that is perfect. Everyone knows people just want to be able to say that they are happy with who they are, but how do we overcome our imperfections and become someone we are proud of? How can we come face to face with things we are ashamed of or guilty for, without feeling as if we have let down people in the process? In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter he follows Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale through their journey of discovering the truth and realizing what perfection truly is.
Hester and Dimmesdale are sworn to secrecy by one another when we are first introduced to them in The Scarlet Letter. Each of these characters are ashamed of their sin, adultery, and are trying their best to protect themselves and their reputation by keeping it a secret. Hester Prynne is seen to be evil in her town, and she must wear a sign of her imperfection everyday on her chest, a scarlet letter “A”.
I have sought, I say, to persuade this godly youth that he should deal with you, here in the face of Heaven, and before these wise and upright rules, and in hearing of all the people as touching the vileness and blackness of your sin. (63) In this quote, John Wilson is telling Hester of her punishment in front of the entire town. She is humiliated at first, but only because she cannot be truthful about her sin. This act makes Hester feel guilty, but at the same time she is trying the best she can to overcome her flaw and become who she wants to be. Hester is not afraid of facing her days with a permanent mark of sin on her chest, as long as she discovers a way to rid of her secret. She is always trying, seeing, and approaching something she can do to admit this to her town.
This novel surrounds the life of Hester and her secret lover, Dimmesdale. During the time in this novel she becomes one with her sin. Since Hester’s life in the seven years that we follow in this novel, are full of ups...
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