Essay about Nathaniel Hawthorne and Hester

Submitted By meekkaahh
Words: 1199
Pages: 5

Mica Berenguel
Mrs. Chlarson
Period 3 (CP3 English)
December 6, 2012 Guilt and Confession Guilt is one of the many obstacles that helped shape today’s society that we currently have and also with the society of the 17th century. Guilt is a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong and the only cure for feeling the guilt is confessing to whomever an individual had harmed or done wrong. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, a woman named Hester Prynne has been accused of committing adultery, and has to be humiliated in front of everyone in her town. She is about to face all the people that have been involved with her sin and some feel guilt and have to confess for what had happened. There are a lot of moments in the book where there are amounts of guilt people have built up and it shows how it is dealing with guilt either helps or destroys oneself. One of the moments in Scarlet Letter that guilt has been visible is when Hester Prynne’s sin was exposed in the New World. “In a moment, however, wisely judging that one token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another, she took the baby on her arm, and, with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her townspeople and neighbours…..” pg 48. This was the narrator stating that Hester’s actions and emotions of how she was feeling when she stood there in front of everyone in her town. Hester’s consequences “… she should stand a certain time upon the platform but without undergoing the gripe about the neck confinement of the head,” pg 39. The punishment of standing there in front of everybody and having to wear the embroidery of the Scarlet Letter A is something she will never forget. The humiliation of people staring, treating her differently, and the judgment of people’s words haunted her throughout the book. Hester is not the only one experiencing the guilt in the New World. Roger Chillingworth is begging Hester to confess whom the father of the child. “’ Thou wilt not reveal his name? Not the less he is mine,’ resumed he with a look of confidence as if destiny were at one with him, ‘He bears no letter of infamy wrought into his garment, as thou dost; but I shall read his heart. Yet not fear not for him’” Pg 70 Chillingworth says that he will find the man that is as guilty as Hester, even though he does not have a letter to prove that he is guilty but Chillingworth will know by the shame that he holds on his heart. He also says not to be scared for him. Arthur Dimmesdale has discovered that he has a heart problem and Chillingworth uses this weakness for his empowerment over him. He also shows lack of sleep and self-harming by whipping himself on the back. Dimmesdale has been hiding his guilt throughout the book and is shown physically and mentally. Although Dimmesdale is going through a difficult time holding his guilt, Hester is coping with her pain by distractions, being brave, and finding comfort from her daughter. “Her needle-work was seen on the ruff of the Governor; military men wore it on their scarfs, and the minister on his band; it decked the baby’s little cap; it was shut up, to be mildewed and moulder away, in the coffins of the dead. But it is not recorded that, in a single instance, her skill was called in aid to embroider the white veil, which was to cover the pure blushes of a bride. The exception indicated the ever relentless vigor with which society frowned upon her sin.” The governor and loads of different people noticed her sewing and how she is actually very talented and good at what she does. It distracted a few people’s point of view of her and made her feel like she actually matters. She also ignores the rude remarks and comments of people say to her and deal with being isolated from everyone. Well Hester still has her lovely daughter Pearl. Pearl was Hester’s comfort throughout her isolation from town but she did find pain through Pearl. “It…