A literary Analysis of Hester Prynne in "A Scarlet Letter"

Essay by jaudreyeHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 2006

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Deep in a forest, far away from grey, black, white, and the closely-knit community of the small Puritan town, a strange ruby stands beneath the verdant treetops and crunches the leaves beneath her feet. The ruby, scratched by the rough, stabbing thorns around her, who try to crack her deep inside, fails miserably by the protecting force of her strength and love. The external scratches strengthen the gem, Hester Prynne, into a sinful woman growing from love and strength. In the novel "A Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the letter "A", which Hester Prynne wears upon her breast, symbolizes the love she holds for Arthur Dimmesdale, the sin which she commits with him, and the strength of the sin with which Hester is challenged, perhaps indicating Hawthorne's belief that one must be true to live a fulfilled life. The scarlet letter on Hester Prynne's breasts symbolizes the love she has for Dimmesdale because the letter conceals the secret of Dimmesdale within Hester, proving that the love Hester has for him is valid.

The letter "A" is, thus, a symbol of sin, which Hester commits with Dimmesdale, acting as a reminder of contamination, which forever burns beside Hester's heart. The fiery letter, which is imprinted on Hester, shows the strength of the sin with which Hester is challenged, growing Hester's immunity towards the impurity of her life. Above all, the increasing love Hester holds for Dimmesdale is protected through the strength she endures from the sin, a love so powerful it could only be sanctified by God.

Love could cure the most fatal wounds with the touch of two lips, or it would turn a red rose black with wilting petals. Hester's bright eyes transfix Arthur Dimmesdale, the priest of the married Hester Prynne, as he...