Hester Prynne's Life In 'The Scarlet Letter' By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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In the short passage of The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne demonstrates the constant questioning Hester Prynne faces of her own life. The narrator glimpses into the thoughts of Hester Prynne when she questions “was existence worth accepting, even to the happiest among them” (Hawthorne). Hester Prynne questions whether living a troubled life was even worth it even to the happiest of women. The ultimate effect of this quote is Hester contemplating whether death is a better alternative than living her life, demonstrating her true depression. She was alienated from society both physically and mentally, living on the edge of town and being judged for who she is, how she looks and for her daughter. Hester Prynne does not believe that living …show more content…
Although Pearl brings her joy, she constantly faces the fact that her daughter is the result of her sin and that is all she will be looked at from society. Hester demonstrates that “now turned aside by an insurmountable precipice.” The word “insurmountable” means a person is incapable of overcoming something. Using these words portray the inability to overcome the sin, forgive herself and be happy. She can not overcome her sin even though society as, changing their view of the scarlet letter from Adultery to Able. Hester claims “a woman never overcomes these problems by any exercise of thought...if her heart chance to come uppermost, they vanish” (Hawthorne). Hester has a weaker heart because of her sin, yet the other women of society are able to overcome these problems if there heart can overpower them. Hester battles to overcome these problems exemplifying her constant struggle to overcome this or any obstacle in her life. Her thoughts are trapped in a maze within her mind that she is completely trapped in. The thought of Pearl and whether having her was a reasonable decision crossed her mind and “at times, a fearful doubt strove to possess her soul, whether it were not better to send Pearl at once to heaven, and go herself to such futurity as Eternal Justice should provide”