Literary Analysis of The Scarlet Letter
Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Analysis of Four Main Characters (#2)
Many believe that the four main characters of The Scarlet Letter are represented as types of people rather than a real person. One key attribute of each of these characters will be addressed to prove this stance.
If Hester Prynne were to be defined by one trait, it would definitely be her strength. Throughout the whole story she was ridiculed, and some might say she was almost excommunicated from the colony. When she was found to be a lecher, she stood on the scaffold with a sort of undeniable strength and pride. She chose not to reveal who she had the affair with and suffered through the pain and hardship entirely by herself. And she said, “Never!...I will not speak!” This shows her ability to keep her word and make herself endure all of the pain that the colony has to offer throughout the ordeal. Hester’s remarkable amount of strength made her capable to cope with all that she is dealing with which includes unbearable secrets, a child, and the undeniable pain that she was forced to live with.
As for Dimmesdale, he is considered a complete opposite of Hester due to his guilt. It seems as if Dimmesdale is so afflicted with this pain of trying to forget his sins and it is constantly diminishing his physical status as well. Arthur does not cope well with his “illness,” and it starts to show in an overt and very outward manner in such a way that everyone in the colony begins to notice that something is really wrong with him. On the contrary, as Dimmesdale’s condition worsens, his sermon’s become better. Dimmesdale never truly feels comfortable with himself until he confesses and stands up on the scaffold with Hester and Pearl.
As for Pearl, she is the personification of the act committed between Dimmesdale and Hester. When she is young, she reaches for the red “A,” and constantly refers to it throughout the book. When Hester takes the A off of her bosom,...