Portrayal of hester prynne in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

While waiting for him, she had an affair with a Puritan minister named Dimmesdale, after which she gave birth to Pearl.

Portrayal of hester prynne in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

Was Hawthorne a progressive social critic who saw the patriarchal culture of his own day as one that oppressed women and men? Is it, as Richard Millington suggests in a talk delivered for the Hawthorne in Salem website that: Or is Hawthorne himself complicit in that evasiveness as he tantalizes the reader with the possibilities inherent within these more fully realized female characters only to contain or eliminate their subversiveness by the end of each romance?

Hawthorne biography does not resolve this conundrum for us. As a number of biographers have shown, Hawthorne had warm and mutually affectionate relationships with women in his life, including his mother, sisters, and other female relatives.

But Hawthorne also had strained and contentious relationships with women in his life, including his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Peabody, and, most famously, Margaret Fuller. Even the self-idealized marriage between Nathaniel and Sophia had its cracks and fissures, for as T.

“The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay Sample

She further argues that in his depictions of male rejection, mistreatment, or destruction of these female characters, Hawthorne presents an indictment of the concepts of manhood and masculinity of his day. Hester emerges from her prison cell holding her child, the product of adultery, and wearing the scarlet letter A upon her breast.

She mounts the scaffold, where she undergoes a form of torture, more psychological than physical, but as Michel Foucault explains in Discipline and Punish, Torture forms part of a ritual.

It is an element in the liturgy of punishment and meets two demands: It must mark the body of its victim: And, from the point of view of the law that imposes it, public torture.

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Separated from those around her, Hester appears an isolated figure singled out for public censure. Unable to deny her own participation in adultery, Hester is forced to accept a punishment that will perpetually remind her and those around her of her act.

The scarlet letter, while not a brand upon her flesh, still marks her as a criminal. But the law is not finished with her.

SparkNotes: The Scarlet Letter: Study Questions

As Hester stands before the crowd, she is encouraged to name the father of her child, reminded by her questioners that he too should bear punishment for this sin.

In the early years of her isolation, Hester is singled out for verbal abuse and scorn by the clergy, the townspeople, even the children.

As she spends more time in reflection and introspection, Hester develops independent ways of thinking, assuming a freedom of thought that confirms her rejection of public law and morality.

Portrayal of hester prynne in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

Out of this thinking comes her strength, so that Hester believes herself more capable of meeting the challenges that confront her.

But Hester cannot escape the scrutiny of the community, especially as it judges her performance as a mother. This threatened seizure of her child, removing the one element that marks her life as having something natural about it, provokes an outburst from Hester in contrast to her silence on the scaffold.

This assault upon her fitness as a mother forces her to acknowledge her weakness before the enforcers of the law and the ineffectiveness of her own voice.''The Scarlet Letter'' by Nathaniel Hawthorne - In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne uses her personal code of ethics to make decisions that influence her situation.

Although she carefully makes these decisions she ultimately faces conflicts that complicate her state. The unfolding of Hester Prynne’s story begins in “The Market-Place,” with her public humiliation and condemnation by the community.

Hester emerges from her prison cell holding her child, the product of adultery, and wearing the scarlet letter A upon her breast. Foremost, the scarlet letter on Hester's chest is like a cross on nun's. The "A" symbolizes a beacon of hope, Heaven, and most importantly, Hester's unsexuality.

In addition, Hester now covers her hair like how a nun covers hers with a coif. While the scarlet letter is a punishment designed specifically for her, any respectable woman of the era would have worn a cap, so Hester is rejecting all of the ways that women are subjected to patriarchal control: “Her sex, her youth, and the whole richness of her beauty came back.”.

In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author uses Hester Prynne to symbolize that those who challenge social conformities can benefit society as a whole. Though she has been banished for committing adultery, she sees that the community needs her.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of the classic novel The Scarlet Letter, believes that every man is innately good and Hawthorne shows that everyone has a natural good side by Hester’s complex character, Chillingworth’s actions .

SparkNotes: The Scarlet Letter: Character List