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  • June 20th, 2024

An Evaluation Of The Scarlet Letter By Hawthorne

The novel, The Scarlet Letter was composed by Nathaniel Hawthorne and is a popular American masterpiece. It was publicized for the first time in 1850. It is all about a woman who was disgraced publicly and cast off for adultery. For this, she gave birth to an illegitimate baby. Hester Prynne is the protagonist here. For committing this crime, Hester Prynne had to put on the scarlet letter ‘A’ on her robe as a penalty. In place of getting ashamed, the reckless Hester displays her strength in the unusual situation and for this, she is considered to be the first real heroine of American fiction. 

A Short Description Of The Characters Of The Scarlet Letter?

Hester Prynne 

Hester Prynne is the main character here. She wore the scarlet letter ‘A’ which symbolizes an ‘adulterer’ in the Puritan community. She tied the knot with Roger Chillingworth who is a senior scholar. He sent Hester to America to dwell but he did not follow her. Hester is a passionate but strong-willed woman. But after that disaster, Hester started to hate the nature of human beings. At the climax of the book “The Scarlet Letter” Hester is presented as a brilliant and proto-feminist character in the neighbourhood. 

Arthur Dimmesdale 

Arthur Dimmesdale, the adolescent Reverend, was in an affair with Hester and later gave birth to an illegitimate baby. If you have gone through the novel The Scarlet Letter you will see that he is an emotional, and intelligent character but he is filled with crime. He is not able to admit his guilt and hence he was tortured both mentally and physically for which his heart condition became worse. 

Roger Chillingworth 

Roger Chilkingworth is the kind of person who does not possess any human emotion. He played the role of a twisted character. According to the novel he was a typical spouse who neglected his better half but wanted her passion and care. His personality symbolizes criminals that live on revenge and looks to demolish others intentionally. 


Pearl is the daughter of Hester. She is a moody and spontaneous young girl who has a strong power of perceiving things in comparison with others. She altered us about the scarlet letter and community throughout the novel. She was very smart according to her age and could understand elements and make queries, particularly about the affair between her mom and Reverend. 

Mistress Hibbins 

Mistress Hibbins plays the role of a widow in the love The Scarlet Letter. She dwells with her rich brother. She was a wizard who walked into the jungle in the dark with a strange Black Man. 

Governor Bellingham 

Bellingham is an affluent and old gentleman who is just like an English noble rather than an American governor. He is brutal and strict and follows the law and orders precisely. Nonetheless, he avoided the misbehaviors that happened in his grand house. 

What Is The Brief Of The Scarlet Letter? 

The novel is outlined in the village of the Puritan community. Hester Prynne plays the role of the main character who thinks of herself as a widow and has a relationship with an adolescent Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Later she gave delivery to an illegal baby and for this, she was compelled to put on the scarlet letter ‘A’ on her clothing as a penalty for the affair. 

At this time Roger Chillingworth came to New England and chose not to expose his individuality. After finding his Mrs. in the scarlet letter he tries to know the name of the dad from Hester. But when Hester declines to say anything, Chillingworth starts to investigate himself. 

Then he came to know that Hester and Arthur Dimmesdale are in an illegal affair and he begins to torment Arthur. Arthur fell sick due to his sin. Hester thought of herself as a self-dependent heroine and she never lamented her illegal relationship with Arthur. According to her, it was a deep sign of love. 

Finally, Dimmesdale becomes shattered by his sin and admits in public his adultery work, and breathes his last in the arms of Hester. Hester then set out for Europe along with her even year’s aged girl, Pearl to start a fresh life. When Hester comes back to New England after a couple of years she again puts on the scarlet letter. When Hester breathed her last she was laid down next to Arthur.

The Analysis Of The Scarlet Letter 

The scarlet letter ‘A’ which is beautifully embellished with golden rope is nothing but a symbol of embarrassment and mortal nature that shows the antagonism between decree and crime, adulthood and childhood, civilization and wilderness. The book shows that the reputable people of the community are mostly degraded but the probable criminals are more innocent. 

The book “The Scarlet Letter” highlighted social pressure and mental repression. 

The Quotes Of The Scarlet Letter 

Quote 1:

“My child must seek a heavenly father; she shall never know an earthly one.” – Hester Prynne.

Hester denies exposing the identity of the father of Pearl. She utilizes the sacred doctrine because Christians speculate that the Almighty is the creator of all to query the concept of specifying the natural dad of her daughter. 

Quote 2:

“There was a fire in her and throughout her; she seemed the unpremeditated offshoot of a passionate moment.” – Narrator.

The speaker with the help of these lines wants to illustrate Pearl who is the illegal child of Hester. These lines make us understand that she is the child of someone who loved Hester deeply. 

Quote 3:

“They said it meant Able, so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength.” – Hester Prynne.

This quotation displays the way Hester illustrated herself as a competent member of the community through her hard work and devotion. With this quote, we can understand that Hester never gave up no matter how tough the time was. 


What Are The Different Symbols Used In The Scarlet Letter?

Generally, the writers utilize symbols in literature for conveying particular meanings as per the situation. In the Scarlet Letter, a lot of symbols have been used by Hawthorne also. Some of them are given below: 

The Door 

The door of the prisons symbolizes the brutal penalty the puritanical judges assign to sinners as well as innocents. This book describes how Hester was punished for her work.

The Scarlet Letter 

The scarlet letter ‘A’ symbolizes adultery. In the end, this letter is shown as the symbol of the innocent role of Hester. 

The Rose Bush 

In the Scarlet Letter, the red forest comes out in two spots. Firstly, it implies Hester Prynne is gorgeous and wild and can withstand drastic situations and then it describes Pearl and her active spirit. 

Red Color 

We all associate the red hue with sex, unrest, excitement, and crime. But it is also the symbol of reliable affection and innocence of the soul. It is used in this book to display absent fascination and genuine affection. 


Pearl depicts the passionate and wild character of Hester. She is the greatest symbol of the cost Hester expended due to her intense affection. But without thinking it a punishment, Hester thinks her baby to be a costly gift and hence she gave her the name ‘Pearl’. 

Dimmesdale and Chillingworth 

Dimmesdale symbolizes a person who died due to failure. Chillingworth symbolizes a rude human who has icy cold nature. In this novel, he did not even show any passion for Hester and becomes silent and leaves Hester. 

The Black Man 

Hester makes a comparison of Chillingworth with Black Man who floors the forests. With this, she implies the devil who compels the innocents to conduct sinful works. But Hester did not expose the identity of the Black Man to Peral. But the Black Man is none other than Chillingworth, who mentally tortures Dimmesdale and compelled him to speak about the hidden facts. 

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