Friday, October 25, 2019

Essay --

During the 17th century, Puritans believed scripture dictated every aspect of their lives. It appeared evident in the Puritan faith that their defiant actions and inner thoughts were to remain repressed. Puritans felt the urge to resist their impulses because by law, each desire they had, exemplified a tug from the devil. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathanial Hawthorne takes his character, Hester Prynne, who commits acts of infidelity, and turns her against the Puritan community. Although the scarlet â€Å"A† objectifies Hester’s humanity and exposes strict Puritan society, it also liberates her as a result of her ultimate transformation. The book reintroduces Hester Prynne in society after her time in prison. Consequently, she remains isolated from the entire community due to her promiscuous actions. When she walks onto the scaffold, many of the town’s elite crowd around to witness Hester’s â€Å"agony from every footstep of those that thronged to see her† (Hawthorne 49). The townspeople line up to protest against Hester’s release because it appears as an outrage and quite uncommon for such behavior. She lives far out â€Å"on the outskirts of town†, assuring the people that â€Å"its comparative remoteness put it out of the sphere of that social activity which already marks the habits of the emigrants† (Hawthorne 76). Wherever Hester goes, the community looks down upon her because of what she stands for through the eyes of her entire town. Within Hester’s â€Å"intercourse with society†- the little that she has- â€Å"there was nothing that made her feel as i f she belonged to it† (Hawthorne 79). In other words, Hester’s attempt to find herself in others ends up disastrous and she can’t help but feel so alone. The presence of Hester makes â€Å"those whom she came in... ...iefs and principles. Since Hester never actually learns her lesson, â€Å"on a field, sable, the letter A, glues† (Hawthorne 247), and will always be with her forever. Despite Hester never fitting the description of what a Puritan actually stands for, she emerges and transforms into a respected young woman of society during her revolution. Even though Hester’s humanity degrades itself based on her imprudent actions that resisted Puritan society, the scarlet â€Å"A† transforms her rebellion. Hester creates her own symbol for herself rather than one that masks her all along. In writing the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne highlights the importance of being a nonconformist. Evidently, through the character of Hester Prynne, self-awareness is key in order to achieve happiness. To repress defining characteristics of a human being is to ultimately destroy their individuality.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.