Hester Prynne Falling from Grace Essay

2127 Words9 Pages
Falling From Grace Since the beginning of time people have enjoyed reading books in which the “hero” falls from grace and struggles with the consequences. This is very much the case in the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne in which the reader learns about the journey of Hester Prynne, the women caught in adultery and sentenced to wear the shameful “A” on her chest. This journey, which includes Mr. Dimmesdale, the man Hester was involved with, Pearl, the daughter of Hester, and Chillingworth, the man who was married to Hester brings the reader into the exploration of the many themes apparent in the novel. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the characters in the story to help develop the themes of identity in society, the nature of evil, and secrecy versus exposure of sin. To begin, the theme of identity in society is developed through the characters of Hester, Mr. Dimmesdale, and Pearl. Hester helps show the theme first when she make the decision to stay in her town rather than leave after she was found guilty of adultery and sentenced to wear the “A” on her chest. Elizabeth Perry Hodges states, “The town gossips and magistrates--are guilty at one time or another of reducing the complex humanity of Hester Prynne to the fixed meaning associated with the letter she must wear on her breast for life, the "A" that identifies her, simply, with the single fact of adultery.” Hester Prynne is expelled from society. Hester, although ridiculed and isolated, emerges as the representative of the new female image. She defies the status quo as a advocate of feminism and individuality, a product of her rebellious spirit, self-reliance, and strong mind. The readers also see this decision after she is released from jail: “finally, she reasoned upon, as her motive for continuing a resident of New England,--was half a truth, and half a

More about Hester Prynne Falling from Grace Essay

Open Document