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The Flamboyant Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter

Uploaded by Quest4Glory on Jul 05, 2004

Hester Prynne is a very well recognized character in The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. She is a character about whom much gas been written such as, Toward Hester Prynn, by David Reynolds, and The Scarlet A, Aboriginal and Awesome, by Kristin Herzog. Reynold's essay dealt with Hester as a heroine, who is an artistic combination of disparate female types. Herzog's essay dealt with the idea that Hester is both wild and passionate, as well as, caring, conservative, and alien.

Towards Hester Prynne, by David Reynolds, expressed Hester as a heroine composed of many different stereotypes of females from the time period Hawthorne was writing. Hawthorne created some of the most skeptical and politically uncommitted characters in pre-civil war history. Reynolds went on to say, His [Hawthorne's] career illustrates the success of an especially responsive author in gathering together disparate female types and recombining them artistically so that they become crucial elements of the rhetorical and artistic construct of his fiction (Reynolds 179). Hawthorne used ironies of fallen women and female criminals to achieve the perfect combination of different types of heroines. His heroines are equipped to expel wrongs against their sex bringing about an awareness of both the rights and wrongs of women. Hester is a compound of many popular stereotypes rich in the thoughts of the time ...portrayed as a fallen woman whose honest sinfulness is found preferable to the future corruption of the reverend (Reynolds 183). Hester was described by Reynolds as a feminist criminal bound in an iron link of mutual crime (Reynolds 183). According to Reynolds, Hawthorne was trying to have his culture's darkest stereotypes absorbed into the character of Hester and rescue them from noisy politics by reinterpreting them in Puritan terms and fusing them with the moral exemplar.

Kristin Herzog had a somewhat different view of Hester in The Scarlet A, Aboriginal and Awesome. She described Hester as both wild and passionate, and caring, conservative, and alien. Herzog stated that The Scarlet Letter is a story set at the rough edge of civilization. Hester is as much an outcast as any Quaker in the Puritan colony and she takes the colony's abuse laid upon her with a Quaker's dignity. Herzog described Hester's Aboriginal characteristics as caring and conservative. This aspect of Hester's femininity is not the only trait, however, which separates her from the Puritan women around her. She is also ...an alien with a...

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Uploaded by:   Quest4Glory

Date:   07/05/2004

Category:   Scarlet Letter

Length:   3 pages (674 words)

Views:   11335

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