The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter share many themes that are still present in today’s society, such as the use of public humiliation as a punishment. Because of their sins, both John Proctor and Hester Prynne were alienated and punished by their peers and town leaders. The public humiliation that they faced helped shape the characters in the eyes of the reader and affected the way that they behaved and acted. The most obvious theme contained in both texts is sin. In The Scarlet Letter, the sin that has been committed is adultery where Hester Prynne and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale conceive an illegitimate child, a daughter named Pearl.
Pearl: the Constant Reminder In the 1650's the strict Puritan community, in Boston Massachusetts punished those who sinned. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the main character, Hester, is punished and looked down upon for committing adultery. When Hester has her baby, Pearl, The Puritans see her as having a bit of evil in her. Pearl, who is a constant reminder to Hester about the sin she had committed, is a significant symbol in this novel. In the beginning of the novel, Pearl always reminds Hester of her sin, even though she does not mean to do so purposely.
Character Analysis Hester Prynne is the character I have chosen to accomplish this character analysis. I chose to analyze Hester Prynne, because she plays a major role in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hester Prynne is a young rebellious lady who succumbed to temptation. This caused her many problems, because in her religion adultery is the worst sin you can perform. This caused her to be humiliated and punished in front of the whole town.
Proctor tried to protect his wife from this and Hester tried to protect Dimsdale’s name; unfortunately they were both punished for it. John and Hester still have their differences. One difference was how they were punished for their sin. Proctor was condemned to death for his sin and Hester was put on a public scaffold for her sin. Also Hester’s name was known thru the town to have committed adultery.
On the other hand, she was her torture, too. Pearl made her live, even the little elf punished her at the same time. Pearl was the scarlet letter in Hester’s heart. 2 To her father Dimmesdale, Pearl is a mirror that reflects his cowardice. Dimmesdale’s sin was not adultery but not having the courage to admit that he had adulterated.
Because she lived in such a God driven and puritan town, the judicial system of the settlement had decided for her to acknowledge her sin by embroidering a vibrant scarlet letter “A” onto her dress to symbolize adultery. She was often ostracized from the rest of the town since she was forced to wear the crimson “A” everywhere she went. As well as the letter to remind her of the wrong she had done, the affair had left her with a fatherless daughter named Pearl. Later in the novel we discover the father is the Reverend of the town, the admirable Arthur Dimmesdale. Through pain, remorse and agony the novel reveals that it is better to tell a harmless lie then to confess a hurtful truth.
The dramatic story really attracts readers’ attention, and what’s more, the meaningful themes of this outstanding work laid the foundation of its unique significance. The first theme I would like to discuss about is the sin of the three main characters, which is prevailingly illustrated in the novel. At the very beginning the sin is Hester’s adultery: a very serious breach of Puritan morality. Then it had its forms of Dimmesdale’s disguise and Chillingworth’s revenge. I have no beliefs in Christian, so Hester only appears to me as a woman who pursues her liberty and protects her true love.
Even though Pearl was willing to have a relationship with her father, Dimmesdale's heart was not strong enough to fully reveal himself to his own daughter until much too late. “Nay; not so, my little Pearl!” answered the minister; for, with the new energy of the moment, all the dread of public exposure…had returned upon him; and he was already trembling at the conjunction…nevertheless—he now found himself. “Not so, my child. I shall, indeed, stand with thy mother thee one other day, but not to-morrow!”(139). Because of Pearl's perceptiveness, she is able to catch Dimmesdale's hypocrisy every possible opportunity.
Matteson. The Minister’s Black Veil is being used to show another example of a man who is trying to hide and cover his sins. I am using The Woman Caught in Adultery biblical account to explain how Jesus faced the woman’s sins openly and how people should as well. The biblical account tells how people can be so quick to judge (much like the community in The Scarlet Letter), and how we shouldn’t be that way. The Scarlet Letter was meant to show the hypocrisy in Puritan society (and the people in the society) and how it causes so much pain and
Hypocrisy, the Ungodly Sin Above all others The question of sin is a reoccurring theme in “The Scarlet letter”, where various sins, from Hestor’s adultery, to Dimmesdale’s cowardice, or Chillingworth’s revenge are put on display to be judged by the Puritan society, and also by the reader. In his novel, Hawthorne uses these smaller sins to display a deeper sin; the sin of Puritan hypocrisy. From the beginning of the book Hawthorne ridicules the Puritan society. As one of the first buildings in their new town, the Puritans build a prison. For a culture that is based strictly on the bible that teaches forgiveness, strangely the Puritans are quick to punish, and Hestor also becomes a victim of this.