The scarlet letter - Admission/Application Essay Example

Summary
The protagonist of Nathaniel Hawthorn’s magnum opus “The Scarlet Letter”, Hester Prynne is an important female character in the American literature. Described by the author as the victim of the society she lives in and at the same time as the embodiment of freedom, Hester…
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Download file to see previous pages Being a young woman, she marries Roger Chillingworth, who is significantly older than she is, and then travels to America. She lives alone in Boston and eventually engages in love affair, gives birth to a child, gets into prison and is forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” on the bodice of her dress for committing adultery. As it follows from the narrator’s description, nobody tries to understand the reason of her deeds, and no one sympathizes with Hester. On the contrary, she is victimized by the entire society, forced to wear the scarlet letter as the reminder of her sin, looked down upon and has to leave the city to settle outside the community. People in the city despise her, look on with dislike and are not ashamed of commenting on her act in front of her. Overall, the society thinks that “this woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die” (Hawthorne). The poor woman accepts the society’s hatred with dignity; she is not a danger for people. Being “the object of severe and universal observation”, Hester leaves Boston and settles “on the outskirts of the town […] not in close vicinity to any other habitation” to work and atone her sin (Hawthorne).
Apart from being represented as a victim of the society, Hester Prynne is also a symbol of personal freedom, which Puritan ideology does not permit. The Puritans have a set of exact moral rules that regulate their everyday life, and “anyone in the community who sinned threatened not only their soul, but the very possibility of civil and religious perfection in America and in England” (Hawthorne). By committing adultery, Hester Prynne questions these rules and shows that every person has a moral right to decide what is better for him / her. In addition to this, Hester should be regarded the symbol of women’s freedom from men’s domination in the society. At the same time, she does not represent lawlessness. Having ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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