The Inner Defiance of Hester Prynne free essay sample
An analysis of the main character in “The Scarlett Letter.”
This paper examines the character of Hester Prynne as a symbol of resistance to the ubiquitous Puritan oppression in early colonial America in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.
Society hastens to oppose those who deviate from the norm, often condemning them as outcasts or pariahs. Such outcasts or pariahs are commonly ridiculed or ostracized for their differing beliefs and actions. A literary example of such an outcast is Hester Prynne, in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Scorned and isolated by her Puritan community after they discover her act of adultery, they punish her with imprisonment. They also mandate that she wear, at all times, a scarlet letter A on her chest, which is to serve as a constant reminder of the sin she has committed. Hester wears the scarlet letter on the outside, but inwardly defies and rebels against the strict Puritan regimen, thus becoming a symbol of resistance against Puritan oppression.