Hester Prynne: The First American Heroine

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Chelsea Dos Santos Ms. Aldana American Literature: Period D 19 November 2014 The First American Heroine The Scarlet Letter was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the 17th century. The novel takes place in a Puritan association in Boston, Massachusetts. The Scarlet Letter is about a woman who commits adultery and is coerced to live with the consequences in the Puritan association. Hester Prynne is the central character who committed adultery. In a Puritan society, a person is supposed to be hardworking, determined, modest, and live in simplicity. At first, Hester may look more like a sinner than a heroine. Although Hester committed adultery, she demonstrates the qualities of a true heroine. Hester Prynne, the protagonist of The Scarlet Letter,…show more content…
When she was up on the scaffold and they asked her for the name of the other sinner, she said didn’t say who it was. Mr. Wilson said, “Speak out thy name! That, and thy repentance, may avail to take the scarlet letter off thy breast.” (Hawthorne Chapter 3) Hester then replied, “Never.” (Hawthorne Chapter 3) She was being loyal to Dimmesdale. Hester’s loyalty to Dimmesdale was imitated in her determination to screen his identity. Although she was not a puritan, she did act like a Puritan in this case because she was determined. Hester was also loyal to Roger Chillingworth. When Roger Chillingworth was in Boston, she did not tell anyone that he was there. Even though everyone thought that he got killed in a ship wreck, Hester still didn’t tell anyone that he was in Boston. Hester holds a great virtue of being…show more content…
She helped the poor and got more involved with the community. The narrator said, “Such helpfulness was found in her—so much power to do, and power to sympathize.” (Hawthorn Chapter 14) The community even recognized her strength and helpfulness. “Interpreting Hester Prynne’s deportment as an appeal of this nature, society was inclined to show its former victim a more benign countenance than she cared to be favoured with, than she deserved.” (Hawthorne Chapter 13) The community realized that the sinner had strength, was kind, and helpful. They changed the meaning of the scarlet letter. The society said that it meant Able. The community even wanted to take off the scarlet letter but Hester said that it would fall off by itself. Hester was caring and

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