Character Analysis Of Hester Prynne In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Words: 353
Pages: 2

Although Hester committed many sins and knew they were wrong, she resisted the punishment that was dealt her. Instead of accepting the humiliation that standing on the scaffold was supposed to bring, she raised her head high and became very prideful about it. Hawthorne describes her on page 51 by saying, “Never had Hester Prynne appeared more ladylike, in the antique interpretation of the term, than as she issued from the prison.” She may have felt some of the pain that it was meant to bring, but she put on a semblance of vanity and stubbornness to conceal her actual emotions. Hester Prynne was also prideful about the scarlet letter on her bosom. She embroidered it with gold and scarlet threads so that it would be an intricate and fancy decoration instead of the shame-filled burden that it was meant to be. On page 51, Hawthorne says of Hester’s vanity regarding the letter, “What is it by to laugh in the faces of our godly magistrates, and make a pride out of what they, worthy gentlemen, meant for a punishment?” In this sentence Hawthorne asks why Hester would mock the …show more content…
She names the infant “Pearl,” as being of great price. Instead of a reminder of her sins, Pearl was instead a priceless treasure for Hester. She shows this adoration and pride in the child by vainly ornamenting Pearl with the finest clothes she could muster. Hawthorne illustrates this by saying “But Pearl was not clad in rustic weeks. Her mother, with a morbid purpose… had bought the riches tissues that could be procured, and allowed her imaginative faculty its fullest play in the arrangement and decoration of the dresses which the child wore before the public eye” (85). Obviously, Hester’s purpose was to show her pride and defiance by parading her illegitimate child as an award. The way in which Hester showed her pride about the scaffold, the letter, and her child perfectly illustrate the theme of sin in The Scarlet