The Scarlet Letter: Hester's Isolation And Alienation



In Nathaniel Hawthorn's The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne and
Reverend Dimmsdale have committed adultery, an unacceptable sin during the
Puritan times. As a result of their sin, a child is born, whom the mother
names Pearl. Out of her own free will Hester has to face major punishments.
She has to serve many months in prison, stand on the scaffold for three
hours under public scrutiny, and attach a scarlet letter, “A” on her chest
every day as long as she remained in the town of Boston. The letter “A”
was to identify Hester Prynne as an adulteress and as an immoral human
being. “Thus the young and the pure would be taught to look at her, with
the letter flaming on her chest”, also “as ...

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and be close to the man she still loved. The
“impulsive and passionate nature” (54), which to Hester seemed pure and
natural had to be faced under humiliation alone, without the partner of sin.
It seemed as though she was paying not only her own consequence, but that
of her lovers as well. Saying so herself while standing on the scaffold “I
might face his agony as well as mine!” (64). Now taking on all blame she
has given “up all her individuality. Now she would become the “general
symbol at which the preacher and moralist might point, and in which they
might vivify and embody their images of woman's frailty
and sinful passion” (73). After the sin had been revealed Hester never
again felt she was accepted by society. It seemed to her as though “every
gesture, every word, and even the silence of those whom she came in contact,
implied, and often expressed, that she was banished” (78) from the town.
Hester was unable to walk through town with out a child babbling a ...

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"The Scarlet Letter: Hester's Isolation And Alienation." Essayworld.com. October 3, 2006. Accessed January 23, 2021. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/The-Scarlet-Letter-Hesters-Isolation-Alienation/53325.
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Added: 10/3/2006 02:50:22 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 708
Pages: 3

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