Hester's Redemption Journey in The Scarlet Letter

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, the main character, Hester Prynne, was faced with many obstructions and difficulties to overcome. The story takes place in Boston , Massachusetts during the seventeenth century, resulting in different actions than those that would occur in present day. Revealed in Chapter 2, after committing the crime of adultery, Hester was forced to face audible criticism while standing on a scaffold for several hours in addition, a scarlet letter A was stitched onto her clothing for her to wear for the remainder of her days.

The letter, permanently attached to her breast, leaves a visible marking of her sin and it causes Hester to face many hardships because so, She is forced to live isolated from the remainder of her town with her daughter, Pearl t Also, she is constantly faced with menacing glances and cruel words from the townspeople.

Over the seven years covered in the duration of the novel, Hester had paid for her sin through these consequences However, as the story goes on, Hester began to gain redemption Hester’sjourney of redemption is of her evolution from shunned criminal to personal fulfillment and a respected citizen Hester eventually finds redemption in the conclusion of The Scarlet Letter as a result of the shedding of the burden letterA that had weighed her down for so many years.

As soon as the letter A, beautifully embroidered in red and gold, was stitched onto Hester’s garment, she was instructed to wear it for the remainder of her life.

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Since its placement on Hester’s breast, she mentally hid herself away from the rest of the world In the years after Hester began wearing the letter on her chest, she began to appear as a hidden shadow of her former self: “All the light and graceful foliage of her character had been withered up by this red hot brand, and had long ago fallen away, leaving a bare and harsh outline“, her rich and luxuriant hair.“ was so completely hidden by a cap, that not a shining lock of it ever once gushed into the sunshine”.

Hester meets with her fellow sinner in the forest one evening This is the man who is the father of Hester’s child, Pearl ,They both confess to each other the sadness they have been feeling and they wish to be forgiven. They forgive each other and they agree to keep the past in the past and not to dwell on it Since their pains were lifted, Hester unpins the letter from her bosom and tosses it into the leaves. As soon as the emotional weight of the letter was lifted off of her body, Hester immediately feels a change She had not realized how free she would feel after removing the stigma from her bosom. She immediately feels relief: “She took off the formal cap that confined her hair; and down it fell upon her shoulders… A crimson flush was glowing on her cheek, that had been long so pale”. The letter, for so long, had took an enormous toll on Hester’s physical being, just as much as emotional.

As soon as the horrific dishonor was removed, she rekindles her youthful beauty. This significant closure between Hester and Dimmesdale helps her finally find redemption from the previous seven years of her life. Hester managed to find beauty in more than just herself as well: “the gloom of the earth and vanished with [her] sorrow“. Hester was able to see the world in a whole new light with the shedding of the scarlet letter: “Had the forest still kept its gloom, it would have been bright in Hester’s eyes“. The redemption Hester receives after she discards her scarlet letter makes a rapid, but exceptional impact on her life, Hester finds the light in the darkness that the scarlet letter casts through her various generous works for society. In the years after her daughter’s birth, Hester and her scarlet letter had become a familiar sight around Boston , which allowed her to continue with her day-today activities and her endeavors to help society in any way possible.

She assisted the communities, yet her actions were not always welcomed: “None so ready as she to give of her little substance to every demand of poverty; even though the bitter-hearted pauper threw back a gibe in requital of the food brought regularly to his door”. Hester did her best to help out the community in any way she was able to, and disregarded the callous opinions from others. Hester knew she had to wear the letter permanently for all to see, yet she still showed her true character in discounting the unfriendly townspeople she encountered She did not let the letter rule her life. She found redemption from the encumbrances it brought along with it and vowed to be a devoted resident to her town in any way she could.

Hester’s personal interactions with disgruntled fellow townspeople did not falter much either: “Her breast, with its badge of shame, was but the softer pillow for the head that needed one” Hester was willing to provide a comfortable resting place for a weary head in need of comfort on her bosom, notwithstanding the fact that her dishonor was still upon her the text quotes, “The scarlet letter had not done its office”. The letter did not segregate Hester away from the world around her, even though there were so many people that thought it would. She still was still there, and she was not fading into the background, Hester and her letter. A were enthusiastic members of their society, she was able to put aside the baggage heaved upon her by the letter on her chest to offer a helping hand to her society and a warm comfort for someone who needed it, thus showing the revitalization she gained from time with the mark.

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Hester's Redemption Journey in The Scarlet Letter. (2023, Apr 09). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/the-obstructions-and-difficulties-in-hester-prynne-s-journey-to-redemption-in-the-novel-the-scarlet-letter-by-nathaniel-hawthorne/

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