How does Hester suffer in the Scarlet Letter?
This quote describes the way Hester is changed by her experience of being outcast and publicly shamed. She becomes more independent and self-reliant, but she also loses some of her ability to feel love and tenderness. Because she does not have anyone to help her, Hester loses her ability to trust and be intimate with others.
Why does Hester in the Scarlet Letter keep the secret?
Why does Hester keep Chillingworth’s secret? Why does Hester agree to keep Chillingworth’s identity a secret? She only accepts to do it perhaps out of fear, or because she knows that disclosing this information would make matters worse for everybody involved.
What is remarkable about the Scarlet Letter Hester makes?
What is most remarkable about The Scarlet Letter's Hester Prynne is her strength of character. Her inner strength, her defiance of convention, her honesty, and her compassion may have been in her character all along, but the scarlet letter brings them to our attention.
Who was Hester married to in the Scarlett Letter?
What we know about Hester from the days prior to her punishment is that she came from a "genteel but impoverished English family" of notable lineage. She married the much older Roger Chillingworth, who spent long hours over his books and experiments; yet she convinced herself that she was happy.
Does Hester remove the scarlet letter?
As she makes her declaration, all nature seems to approve the choice: a flood of sunshine illuminates the forest gloom. Hester removes the scarlet letter for the first time and throws it away. Letting her hair down, she removes the last vestige of social restraint.
What happened in chapter 17 of the scarlet letter?
Summary: Chapter 17: The Pastor and His Parishioner Hester tells Dimmesdale that Chillingworth is her husband. This news causes a “dark transfiguration” in Dimmesdale, and he begins to condemn Hester, blaming her for his suffering.
What happens in chapter 14 of the scarlet letter?
While walking on the peninsula with Pearl, Hester sees Chillingworth and sends Pearl down to play by the seashore while she speaks with her husband. She is surprised at the changes in Chillingworth just as she was shocked by Dimmesdale's spiritual ailment and aging.
What happened in chapter 22 of the scarlet letter?
As Pearl questions Mistress Hibbins about what the minister hides, the witch tells Hester that she knows the minister also has a hidden sin comparable to Hester's scarlet token. When pressed about how she knows this, Mistress Hibbins explains that intuitively recognizing a fellow sinner is not difficult.
What happened in chapter 18 of the scarlet letter?
The minister takes courage from Hester's strength and resolves to leave the Puritan colony, but not alone. He reasons that if he is doomed irrevocably, why not be allowed the solace of a "condemned culprit before his execution?" Hester agrees with him and casts off the scarlet letter.
What happened in chapter 16 of the scarlet letter?
For several days Hester tries unsuccessfully to intercept Dimmesdale on one of his frequent walks along the shore or through the woods. When she hears that he will be returning from a trip, she goes with Pearl into the forest, hoping to meet the minister on his return home.
What happens in chapter 15 of the scarlet letter?
Summary: Chapter 15: Hester and Pearl As Chillingworth walks away, Hester goes to find Pearl. She realizes that, although it is a sin to do so, she hates her husband. If she once thought she was happy with him, it was only self-delusion. Pearl has been playing in the tide pools down on the beach.
Why does Hester not remove the letter?
Now, Hester refuses to remove the scarlet letter—she understands that its removal would be as meaningless as its original placement. Her identity and, she believes, her soul's salvation are matters that are between her and God.
What decision does Hester make at the end of Chapter 13?
Luckily, she ends up deciding against the murder-suicide—but, the narrator says, the fact that she thought about it at all means that the scarlet letter hasn't done the work it was supposed to do. But seeing Dimmesdale's oppression actually makes Hester feel bad, so she resolves to help him.
What happened in chapter 23 of the scarlet letter?
Summary: Chapter 23: The Revelation of the Scarlet Letter Turning toward the scaffold, he calls to Hester and Pearl to join him. Deaf to Chillingworth's attempt to stop him, Dimmesdale mounts the scaffold with Hester and Pearl. He declares that God has led him there.
What happens in chapter 20 of the scarlet letter?
Dimmesdale leaves the forest first, almost believing what has transpired has been a dream. When he looks back, he sees Hester weighed down with sadness and Pearl dancing because he is gone. Turning over their plan in his mind, he believes that going to Europe is the better choice.
What event is occurring in Chapter 21 of the scarlet letter?
Summary: Chapter 21: The New England Holiday Echoing the novel's beginning, the narrator describes another public gathering in the marketplace. But this time the purpose is to celebrate the installation of a new governor, not to punish Hester Prynne.
What final promise does Hester make to Dimmesdale in chapter 17?
What final promise does Hester make to Dimmesdale in Chapter 17? Dimmesdale is afraid of living a new life alone. He has suffered in his shame for so long, he is afraid to let go of his solitude. In the end, Hester assures him, "Thou shalt not go alone!"
Why does pearl not recognize her mother?
This is Pearl not recognizing her mother without her scarlet letter on her bosom, so by doing this Pearl is symbolizing that no matter if Hester takes off this letter, she still is an adulterer and cannot get rid of that past of hers.
Why does Pearl wash off Dimmesdale's kiss?
Why does Pearl wash off Dimmesdale's kiss? He smells funny.
What chapter does Chillingworth find out about Dimmesdale?
In this and the next few chapters, Chillingworth investigates the identity of Pearl's father for the sole purpose of taking revenge. Adopting the attitude of a judge seeking truth and justice, he quickly becomes fiercely obsessed by his search into Dimmesdale's heart.
Why did Hester refuse to remove the scarlet letter?
She refused to flee Boston when Pearl was an infant because at the time she did not believe that her fellow men and women should have the power to judge her. Now, Hester refuses to remove the scarlet letter—she understands that its removal would be as meaningless as its original placement.
What is the theme of the Scarlet Letter?
Identity emerges as an important theme in this section of the novel. The ways in which a society tries to define a person are often at odds with the way that individual defines him- or herself. As the community reinterprets the scarlet letter, Hester once again has an identity thrust upon her by her fellow townspeople. The meaning of the letter can vary with the desires and needs of the community, because the letter does not signify any essential truth in itself. Like the meteor in Chapter 12, it simply serves to reinforce popular opinion.
What does Hester ask Chillingworth to do?
Hester resolves to ask Chillingworth to stop tormenting the minister. One day she and Pearl encounter him near the beach, gathering plants for his medicines. When Hester approaches him, he tells her with a smirk that he has heard “good tidings” of her, and that in fact the town fathers have recently considered allowing her to remove the scarlet letter. Hester rebuffs Chillingworth’s insincere friendliness, telling him that the letter cannot be removed by human authority. Divine providence, she says, will make it fall from her chest when it is time for it to do so. She then informs Chillingworth that she feels it is time to tell the minister the truth about Chillingworth’s identity. From their conversation, it is clear that Chillingworth now knows with certainty that Dimmesdale was Hester’s lover and that Hester is aware of his knowledge.
What does Boston believe about Hester?
The people of Boston believe that Hester’s charitable behaviors are the result of their system working properly. They think that their chosen punishment for her, the scarlet letter, has effectively humbled her as planned. In reality, “the scarlet letter [has] not done its office.”. Hester has become almost an automaton: unwomanly, cold, ...
What does Hester believe about salvation?
Her identity and, she believes, her soul’s salvation are matters that are between her and God. Hester’s new insight into society’s right to determine the lives and identities of individuals is emphasized in her conversations with Chillingworth.
What does Hester's improved reputation among the townspeople speak to?
Hester’s improved reputation among the townspeople would seem to speak to the community’s generosity of heart, its wisdom and compassion.
Why is Hester's work futile?
Yet, because Puritan doctrine elevated faith and predestination over good works, no amount of good deeds can counteract sin; one must be ranked among the chosen. Thus, in a religious context, Hester’s work in the community is futile.
What does Hester decide to do in The Scarlet Letter?
Hester decides that she must help Dimmesdale by confessing that Chillingworth was her husband, thereby revealing the vengeful motive behind his harsh treatment of Dimmesdale. Hester, the "sinner" intends to save Dimmesdale, though "innocent" Dimmesdale never tried to save her. Kestler, Justin. "The Scarlet Letter Chapter 13.". LitCharts.
What is the symbol of Hester's punishment?
Hester has become more accepted by the community, and the embroidered scarlet letter has evolved into a "symbol of her calling," not just her sin. The symbol of Hester's punishment now is a mark of her personal skill as a seamstress. Active Themes.
Why does Hester think she'll never reach heaven?
Hester's reputation improves, but because of her sin Puritanism says she'll never reach heaven. By with holding forgiveness, Puritanism makes it pointless for sinners to stop sinning. Active Themes.
What does Hester do to Pearl?
Hester pays a visit to Governor Bellingham ’s mansion. She has two intentions: to deliver a pair of ornate gloves she has made for the governor, and to find out if there is any truth to the rumors that Pearl, now three, may be taken from her. Some of the townspeople, apparently including the governor, have come to suspect Pearl of being a sort of demon-child. The townspeople reason that if Pearl is a demon-child, she should be taken from Hester for Hester’s sake. And, they reason, if Pearl is indeed a human child, she should be taken away from her mother for her own sake and given to a “better” parent than Hester Prynne. On their way to see the governor, Hester and Pearl are attacked by a group of children, who try to fling mud at them. Pearl becomes angry and frightens the children off.
Why should Pearl be taken away from Hester?
The townspeople reason that if Pearl is a demon-child, she should be taken from Hester for Hester’s sake. And, they reason, if Pearl is indeed a human child, she should be taken away from her mother for her own sake and given to a “better” parent than Hester Prynne.
What is the meaning of Pearl and the embroidered letter?
Pearl and the embroidered letter are both beautiful in a rich, sensuous way that stands in contrast to the stiffness of Puritan society. Indeed, the narrator explicitly tells the reader that Pearl is “the scarlet letter endowed with life.”. The narrator tells us that Hester has worked to create an “analogy between the object of [Hester’s] ...
What is the purpose of Dimmesdale's words?
Dimmesdale momentarily acknowledges this in his speech, but the purpose of his words is not to ponder ambiguities but rather to point to these ambiguities as proof of the futility of all interpretation. Pearl, he says, came from God, and therefore must be intended as Hester’s companion.
What does Wilson resent about Pearl?
Wilson resents Pearl’s seeming dislike of him, and Pearl’s refusal to answer even the simplest of questions does not bode well. With nowhere else to turn, Hester begs Dimmesdale to speak for her and her child.
What is the meaning of the letter and the child?
The sin itself was both a guilty act and an act of affection, a problematic combination of love and “evil.”. The letter and the child also hold a dual meaning for the town fathers. They understand that both child and badge function as reminders of sin and as protections against further sin.
Who is the witch in the governor's house?
The final paradox of the governor’s house is Mistress Hibbins, the acknowledged witch who is Governor Bellingham’s sister. Something is clearly awry in a society that allows a woman who admittedly engages in satanic practices to remain a protected and acknowledged member of the community, while it forces Hester, who has erred but once, to live as an outcast and in danger of losing her child.
What happened to Hester in The Scarlet Letter?
While Dimmesdale dies after his public confession and Chillingworth dies consumed by his own hatred and revenge, Hester lives on, quietly, and becomes something of a legend in the colony of Boston. The scarlet letter made her what she became, and, in the end, she grew stronger and more at peace through her suffering.
What does Hester do when she removes the letter and takes off the cap?
When she removes the letter and takes off her cap in Chapter 13, she once again becomes the radiant beauty of seven years earlier. Symbolically, when Hester removes the letter and takes off the cap, she is, in effect, removing the harsh, stark, unbending Puritan social and moral structure.
What does Hester turn to in the novel?
Here Hester turns to Dimmesdale for help, the one time in the novel where she does not stand alone. Hester's strength is evident in her dealings with both her husband and her lover. Hester defies Chillingworth when he demands to know the name of her lover.
What does Hester do when she takes off the cap?
Symbolically, when Hester removes the letter and takes off the cap, she is, in effect, removing the harsh, stark, unbending Puritan social and moral structure. Hester is only to have a brief respite, however, because Pearl angrily demands she resume wearing the scarlet A.
What is the most remarkable thing about Hester Prynne?
What is most remarkable about Hester Prynne is her strength of character . While Hawthorne does not give a great deal of information about her life before the book opens, he does show her remarkable character, revealed through her public humiliation and subsequent, isolated life in Puritan society. Her inner strength, her defiance of convention, her honesty, and her compassion may have been in her character all along, but the scarlet letter brings them to our attention. She is, in the end, a survivor.
What does Hester say in the first scene of the story?
In this first scene, Dimmesdale implores her to name the father of the baby and her penance may be lightened. Hester says "Never!" When asked again, she says "I will not speak!" While this declaration relieves Dimmesdale and he praises her under his breath, it also shows Hester's determination to stand alone despite the opinion of society. Hester's self-reliance and inner strength are further revealed in her defiance of the law and in her iron will during her confrontation with the governor of the colony.
What is Hester's inner strength?
Hester's self-reliance and inner strength are further revealed in her defiance of the law and in her iron will during her confrontation with the governor of the colony. Despite her lonely existence, Hester somehow finds an inner strength to defy both the townspeople and the local government.