Hester Prynne Character Analysis

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In the Scarlet letter the main protagonist in the story is shown by the author to be Hester. The author does not describe too much about Hester's life before the incident other than that shes from Amsterdam, came from a “genteel but impoverished English family”, was married up to a man she didn't exactly love and spent most of his time in books and experiments (Chillingworth), and that that man made her emigrate to America without him, having her thinking that he would follow soon after her. Hester’s physical appearance is described as to have a perfectly elegant figure and gorgeous, dark, glossy, and abundant hair. Hester’s character throughout the book has demonstrated her overwhelming strength and perseverance, as well as her stubborn and standoffish nature due to the realities and isolation of the letter that she must wears around, in, and throughout the town of Boston. However, she also shows her kind, honest, and compassionate side of herself also brought about through the isolation and horrors of the scarlet letter. When we first start reading the scarlet letter we find Hester on a scaffold holding Pearl in her arms, enduring her public punishment with a very strong presence. On the scaffold she displays a sense of contempt and irony. The ironic part is made evident from the fact that the letter “A” that she must wear is very elaborately done with golden needle work as if to flaunt it off in the faces of the townspeople, when really it represents a sign of shame and sin. However, she knows the reason why she’s up there, and feels as though “her heart has been flung out on the street for all the people to spurn and trample on”. This shows that she understands the sin that she has committed, and is willing to pay the punishment that the town has told her to endure alone, even when asked who the father was by Dimmesdale, (*spoiler* who, ironically, really is
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