Karissa Gornick 4/7/14
Hardships make or break people. It is the difficult ordeals that reveal one's true self and shape individuals into who they will eventually become. The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne contains a multitude of hardships that force the characters to change. The protagonist, for example, Hester Prynne, evolves and develops significantly. Hester is initially introduced as a rebellious and defiant, yet radiantly beautiful woman, but from her alienation from society and overall shame from committing adultery, she undergoes a drastic change in appearance, and the compassion and inner strength she had always possessed is revealed.
Hester Prynne's initial character is displayed as rebellious and defiant, as well as beautiful. She best portrays these traits as she steps out onto the scaffold for the first time. "Ã¢ÂÂ¦with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glace that would not be abashed, looked around at her [Hester Prynne's] townspeople and neighbors" (Hawthorne 50).
When Hester steps out onto the scaffold after she had embroidered the intricate, detailed scarlet A onto the bosom of her gown, she stands with a supercilious smirk, knowing that the beauty of the scarlet A, representing her rebelliousness, would surprise or anger most. Secondly, her radiant beauty is undoubtedly acknowledged as she stands on the scaffold. "Those who had before known her, and had expected to behold her dimmed and obscured by a disastrous cloud, were astonished, and even startled, to perceive how her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the misfortune and ignominy in which she was enveloped" (Hawthorne 51). Hester is described as tall and elegant. She has dark, abundant hair, has deep black eyes, and is beautiful from regularity of feature and richness of complexion. She practically exudes beauty and is so stunning that...