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Essay on the Transformation of Hester in Scarlet Letter

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The Transformation of Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter

 

Hester Prynne committed a crime so severe that it changed her life into coils of torment and defeat.  In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester is publicly recognized as an adulteress and expelled from society.  Alongside the theme of isolation, the scarlet letter, or symbol of sin, is meant to shame Hester but instead transforms her from a woman of ordinary living into a stronger person.
               The purpose of the scarlet letter is not fulfilled according to the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne.  It was put upon Hester’s bosom to claim her unholiness but instead the "punishment" served as a way for Hester to grow stronger.  The townspeople were the first to see first introduction of Hester.  She was looked down on since the branding of the letter “A” upon her bosom.  She was a "figure of perfect elegance" compared to the Puritan women of "brief beauty" (Hawthorne pg.: 55, 57).  Right from the start, Hester appears to be different from those around her, suggesting a rebellious attitude to the traditions and customs of the time where church and state were still considered to be the central government at the time.  She was different from others due to her nature of her being.  Hester wasn’t like all other women.  If another woman were to be branded an adulteress, that woman would have probably try to keep her sin away from the townspeople and forever keep their peace.  Hester on the other hand, had the bravery and boldness in her that did not frighten her to show off what she did wrong.  She may have had the intention that...


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...tunate.
               The "human tenderness" Hester exerts shows how she did not care what the Puritans thought and acted.  Her sin is also an example of her independence; Hester acted on her feelings and didn’t allow the Puritan’s views to interfere with her emotions.
               Hester has changed throughout The Scarlet Letter.  She was pushed into a world of isolation because she did not fear acting on her passion.  Hester transforms from a free-thinking woman to a strong, "ABLE" woman.  The suffering Hester endured strengthened her and turned her into a person who helped another in need.  The meaning of the scarlet letter shifts as Hester’s ability to endure the worst as plight increases.

 


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