Hester Prynne, a young wife whose husband has been missing for over a year, is accused of adultery following the birth of her infant daughter Pearl. In a shameful public ceremony, Hester is forced to stand on a scaffold for more than three hours and submit to an interrogation.
In an extended introduction, Hawthorne describes his employment in the Salem Custom House, and how he purportedly found an old document and a piece of cloth embroidered with the letter "A" in a pile of old papers. This fictitious document being the germ of the story that Hawthorne writes, as follows.
In Junein Puritan Boston, Massachusetts, a crowd gathers to witness the punishment of Hester Prynne, a young woman who has given birth to a baby of unknown parentage. She is required to wear a scarlet "A" on her dress when she is in front of the townspeople to shame her. The letter "A" stands for adulteress, although this is never said explicitly in the novel.
Her "punishment" because adultery was illegal at the time is to stand on the scaffold for three hours, exposed to public humiliation, and to wear the scarlet "A" for the rest of her life. As Hester approaches the scaffoldmany of the women in the crowd are angered by her beauty and quiet dignity.
When demanded and cajoled to name the father of her child, Hester refuses. As Hester looks out over the crowd, she notices a small, misshapen man and recognizes him as her long-lost husband, who has been presumed lost at sea.
He chooses a new name, Roger Chillingworth, to aid him in his plan. After she returns to her prison cell, the jailer brings in Roger Chillingworth, a physician, to calm Hester and her child with his roots and herbs.
He and Hester have an open conversation regarding their marriage and the fact that they were both in the wrong. Her lover, however, is another matter and he demands to know who it is; Hester refuses to divulge such information.
He accepts this, stating that he will find out anyway, and forces her to hide that he is her husband. Following her release from prison, Hester settles in a cottage at the edge of town and earns a meager living with her needlework, which is of extraordinary quality.
She lives a quiet, somber life with her daughter, Pearl, and performs acts of charity for the poor. The shunning of Hester also extends to Pearl, who has no playmates or friends except her mother. As she grows older, Pearl becomes capricious and unruly.
Her conduct starts rumours, and, not surprisingly, the church members suggest Pearl be taken away from Hester. Hester, hearing rumors that she may lose Pearl, goes to speak to Governor Bellingham. With him are ministers Wilson and Dimmesdale. Tormented by his guilty conscience, Dimmesdale goes to the square where Hester was punished years earlier.
Climbing the scaffold, he admits his guilt but cannot find the courage to do so publicly. Several days later, Hester meets Dimmesdale in the forest and tells him of her husband and his desire for revenge. She convinces Dimmesdale to leave Boston in secret on a ship to Europe where they can start life anew.
Renewed by this plan, the minister seems to gain new energy. On Election Day, Dimmesdale gives what is called one of his most inspired sermons.
Later, most witnesses swear that they saw a stigma in the form of a scarlet "A" upon his chest, although some deny this statement.
Chillingworth, losing his will for revenge, dies shortly thereafter and leaves Pearl a substantial inheritance. After several years, Hester returns to her cottage and resumes wearing the scarlet letter.
When she dies, she is buried near the grave of Dimmesdale, and they share a simple slate tombstone engraved with an escutcheon described as: Major theme[ edit ] This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations.
Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. This combination of "dreaminess" and realism gave the author space to explore major themes. But it also results in knowledge — specifically, in knowledge of what it means to be immoral.
For Hester, the Scarlet Letter is a physical manifestation of her sin and reminder of her painful solitude. She contemplates casting it off to obtain her freedom from an oppressive society and a checkered past as well as the absence of God.
Because the society excludes her, she considers the possibility that many of the traditions held up by the Puritan culture are untrue and are not designed to bring her happiness.
As for Dimmesdale, the "cheating minister", his sin gives him "sympathies so intimate with the sinful brotherhood of mankind, so that his chest vibrate[s] in unison with theirs.
His "Fall" is a descent from apparent grace to his own damnation; he appears to begin in purity but he ends in corruption. Throughout the work, the nature images contrast with the stark darkness of the Puritans and their systems. The outward man reflects the condition of the heart; an observation thought inspired by the deterioration of Edgar Allan Poewhom Hawthorne "much admired".The year is Boston is a Puritan settlement, and one of its citizens, Hester Prynne, is led from the prison to the scaffold to stand in judgment before the town magistrates.
In her arms, she. The Scarlet Letter: A Romance, an novel, is a work of historical fiction written by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is considered his "masterwork". Set in 17th-century Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony, during the years to , it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity.
First published in , The Scarlet Letter is Nathaniel Hawthorne's masterpiece and one of the greatest American novels.
Its themes of sin, guilt, and redemption, woven through a story of adultery in the early days of the Massachusetts Colony, are revealed with remarkable psychological penetration and understanding of the human heart.
Feminism in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter - Written in , The Scarlet Letter stood as a very progressive book. With new ideas about women, main characters’ stories intertwined, and many different themes, The Scarlet Letter remains today as a extremely popular .
For daring to peer into the heart of an adulteress and enumerate its contents with profound dispassion, the author of Madame Bovary was tried for "offenses against morality and religion.". In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah, Ifemelu is a Nigerian woman who has spent the last 15 years in the United States, achieving academic success and writing a successful blog about racism in.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, adulteress Hester Prynne must wear a scarlet A to mark her shame. Her lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, remains unidentified and is wracked with guilt, while her husband, Roger Chillingworth, seeks revenge. Swann's Way, the first part of A la recherche de temps perdu, Marcel Proust's seven-part cycle, was published in In it, Proust introduces the themes that run through the entire work. Found guilty of adultery, Hester’s punishment is to wear a visible symbol of her sin: the scarlet letter “A.” Through the book, the reader comes to know Hester, the adulteress; Dimmesdale, the holy man Hester had the affair with; and Chillingworth, the estranged husband of Hester who is out for revenge.