Hester Prynne vs TMNT

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a children’s cartoon centered around a gang of turtles who fight crime While seemingly a trivial television show regarding nothing more than superheroes in the guise of costumed turtles, the chronicles of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello illustrate a story of triumph. Cast out from the streets of New York City for their freakishness, the turtles are forced to move into the sewers, where they eat pizza and learn Japanese warfare from a ratt Despite being rejected by the community, the anthropomorphic creatures choose to utilize their ninja combat to protect the townspeople by fighting the ultimate terror of New York: Shreddec.

The townspeople avoid the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for their deviance from a society of Working-class Phenotypical Pacifistic Homo Sapiens, but the turtles turn this reason for exclusion into a reason for pride.

The turtles would not be able to do their brave, heroic work were they not as original as they are, Protagonist Hester Prynne faces a similar issue in Nathaniel Hawthorne‘s novel, The Scarlet Lettert The Puritans of Boston punish Hester for committing adultery by forcing her to wear a bright red “A” to isolate and shame her, While the Puritans‘ office for the scarlet letter initially succeeds at sequestering and humiliating Hester, it ultimately fails in order to fulfill Hawthorne’s office: teaching Hester to accept her individuality rather than conform to society.

The Puritans’ purpose for forcing Hester to don the scarlet letter is to ostracize and mortify her for her unorthodox actions.

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Prior to Hester’s parade around the marketplace, the grim beadle tells the townspeople that “Mistress Prynne shall be set where man, woman, and child may have a fair sight of her brave apparel”.

By referring to her as something which can be “set” without discretion, the beadle objectifies Hester and strips her of her rights to choose because of her poor decision to sin in the past. While the “fair sight” is used to refer to how the “man, woman, and child” will have a good view of the scarlet letter, the use of “fair” is ironic due to the equitability of Hester’s situation: facing all of the townspeople alone. The grim beadle sarcastically calls Hester’s letter “brave,” but contrary to his sarcasm, her apparel is indeed “brave,” further illustrating the paradoxity of the Puritan norms. Thus, Hawthorne exemplifies the irony in the Puritans’ reason for Hester’s punishment. Hester initially feels regret for her actions and attempts to escape her punishment. Since Hester‘s deed had been evil in the eyes of the Puritans, she concludes that she could have no faith that Pearl, a product of her evil, would ultimately be good for her.

When her daughter grows to become an “imp of evil” and an “emblem and product of sin,” Hester exclaims, “0 Father in Heaven— if Thou art still my Father— what is this being which I have brought into this world!”. Hester shows remorse for her decision to commit the adultery which led to Pearl‘s birth. Pearl is referred to as an “imp of evil” to reflect Hester’s view of her deed as producing a sort of inhuman, unnatural being that never should have existed By directly asking if God is still her Father, Hester reveals her regret for having a living representation of her sin because she loses two fathers whom she loves: God and Dimmesdale. Hester attempts to escape her shame and win back the approval of the two fathers through conformance to the Puritanical codes. After Hester performs various charitable acts, the townspeople exclaim things such as, “It is our Hesteri the town’s own Hester” and further change the meaning of the scarlet letter to “Able”. Puritan society continues to take away Hester’s ability to choose by dictating what the letter represents.

By illustrating Hester as an entity that can be “the town’s own,” the townspeople further make her seem incapable of making proper decisions because of her shame, It is ultimately Hester, not the townspeople, who decides to escape her shame by acting more accordingly with Puritan norms, but she is still treated as an object. Hester’s choice to follow Puritan conventions allows her an escape from the original meaning of the letter, but “her rich and luxuriant hair [is] cut off, or… hidden by a cap, that not a shining lock of it ever once gushed into the sunshine”. When Hester acts accordingly to how the Puritans wish her to act, she loses her physical originality. Her hair, the main feature of her body that highlights her distinction from New England, is obscured by the hat and lack of sunlight, representing the obscured uniqueness that conformity creates, Through escaping the shameful aspects of the scarlet letter, Hester also escapes the unique aspects of the letter, revealed by her spiritually cleansed but dull appearance However, Hester eventually takes responsibility for her decisions and embraces her individuality.

Chillingworth, when talking to Hester of how his hunt for Dimmesdale has changed him, states that he is “a fiend” and asks Hester “who made [him] so,” to which Hester exclaims, “it was myselfLu it was i, not less than [Dimmesdale], Why hast [Chillingworth] not avenged [himself] on me?” Unlike other characters of the novel who hide and shy away from their problems, Hester openly accepts and embraces her mistakes, While aware that her choice to allow Chillingworth to hunt Dimmesdale was not a good one, Hester now, unlike before, understands that the past is fixed and that attempting to avoid it is irrationall Hester further reveals her realization in the forest with Dimmesdale, where she claims that “what [they] did had a consecration of its own” (178) in the forest, a place lacking the pressure of Puritan society, Hester can afford to speak honestly to Dimmesdale.

Hester implies that she not only lacks the power to undo her sins, but also that her sin was not immorall By referring to a “consecration,” Hester adds a sense of holiness to their action. Hester now understands that unlike Chillingworth’s sin of trying to destroy another person, Hester and Dimmesdale’s sin is entirely pure, By defending her sin, Hester reveals her newfound acceptance for her unique qualities. Hawthorne uses the scarlet letter to illustrate the message that one should accept her individuality and live without regret. Hester’s “fantastically embroidered and illuminated” (48) Ht letter is often contrasted to the Puritans sad-colored garments and gray, steeple-crowned hats”. The letter being “illuminated” insinuates an open honesty. In contrast, the dark tone generated by the “sad” and “gray” coloring implies a sense of secrecy surrounding life in Puritan society.

By describing truth and integrity as “fantastic,” Hawthorne exemplifies how living honestly and individually is better than living secretly in a conformist wayt Hester’s ultimate decision to accept her differences from society and not feel despondent for the past actions that her individuality has caused exemplifies Hawthorne‘s successful office for the scarlet lettert Thus, Hawthorne has the Puritans’ role for the letter fail in order to demonstrate the problems with societal compliance Individuality is intrinsic to human nature, as no person on the face of the earth is like another. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne exemplifies the problems with denying one’s own uniqueness in favor of a secretive, conformist attitude towards life. Hawthorne warns that, like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, one should embrace her “turtle power” and become a “hero in a half—shell,” avoiding conforming societies in order to reveal her true colors.

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Hester Prynne vs TMNT. (2023, Apr 09). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-comparison-of-hester-prynne-s-situation-in-the-novel-the-scarlet-letter-by-nathaniel-hawthorne-to-the-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles/

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