Essay on Scarlet Letter

Submitted By rmrubin
Words: 743
Pages: 3

In the novel The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne faces many obstacles while searching for happiness, one of which being her almost losing custody of her daughter, Pearl. In chapter 8, in an encounter between Hester and Governor Bellingham, Hester is confronted with the dilemma that many people do not see her to be fit to take care of her child. She is told by Governor Bellingham:
The point hath been weightily discussed, whether we, that are of authority influence, do well discharge our consciences by trusting an immortal soul, such there is in a yonder child, to the guidance of one who hath stumbled and fallen, amid the pitfalls of this world. (98)
Governor Bellingham, as well as the Puritan society do not think that Hester Prynne should be allowed to mother and raise a child because she is a sinner. The scarlet “A” that Hester wears is a constant reminder to herself and society of her sins. They fear Hester teaching her bad ways of sinning and adultery to an innocent soul and want to protect the child. It is Mr. Dimmesdale who ends up saving Pearl from being taken away from Hester by bringing up the idea that God is the one who gave Hester the child, and that it would be wrong to doubt God or think that God had made a mistake. Another problem that the scarlet “A” causes for Hester Prynne is that it prevents her from being with Arthur Dimmesdale, the minister. Once Hester Prynne is known to society as an adulterer, it becomes clear to her that she cannot pursue any relations with Dimmesdale, Pearls’ father. Hester takes time to isolate herself and her daughter and during this time she realizes that she can never live her happily ever after with Dimmesdale in the Puritan society that they live in. One day when Hester and Pearl are walking together in the woods they coincide with Dimmesdale. During this confrontation Hester And Dimmesdale discuss the toll that their sins have taken on their life. Hester is looked down on by society and Dimmesdale faces his constant inner guilt. They contemplate running away into the woods and never returning to their Puritan society. Both Hester and Dimmesdale realize that leaving the Puritan society will not take away the guilt they feel and receive from others. Dimmesdale says to Hester, “’thou tellest of running a race to a man whose knees are tottering beneath him! I must die here”(173). Hester comes to understand that Dimmesdale is not able to leave the community and that it is impossible for them to be together in the society and have a future. Additionally, the scarlet “A” that Hester Prynne wears across her chests causes her a lot of guilt. Hester accepts that she is a sinner…