Nathaniel Hawthornes "The Scarlet Letter"

Book Report/Review
Pages 8 (2008 words)
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In Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter Hester accepts that she has sinned and realizes that she must pay the price for her crime. In doing so she becomes overwhelmed with courage and conviction and assumes a redemption that is denied to most of her fellow townspeople.


Hester Prynne's strength of character as well as her willingness to accept her fate prove to be valuable qualities necessary to succeed in an environment of conformity. Winston Smith's lack of courage as well as his fear of unpleasant consquences prevents him from expressing his true self. Though both characters stive to overcome the pressures of society, it proves to be more difficult than they anticipated.
Hester comprehends the she must compensate for her offense, but her deeds reveal a veiled disobedience. Although Hester herself is not allowed to dress in anything but drab clothing with the only spot of light being her bright red letter, she rebels by dressing her daughter Pearl in gaily colored clothes that express a "wild, desperate, defiant mood" (66). A similar example of Hester's silent rebellion and steely independence is showcased in the form of her behavior when she leaves prison; her audacity compares favorably to the rather gloomy assemblage she walks past. Within Hester at this moment is a glow of self-awareness and dignity is far from what is expected of her by the other townsfolk as she moves with a determination that she will be the master of her fate. Hester's quite open rebellion is in contrast to Winston Smith's hidden acts. ...
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