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Hawthorne & Kingston

Instead, she wore it with a pride which instilled awe in those who saw it (Hawthorne 177). It is as if Hester can be seen reshaping the role which she has been given. What was handed to her as a means to help kill her spirit, actually ends up lifting it. Hester surfaces as a transcendental figure within the community. Other women who have allowed passion to dictate their actions come to Hester seeking her gudiance and wisdom (Hawthorne 177). Hawthorne indicates that the role which Hester shapes for herself was one which 'not the sternest magistrate of that iron period would have imposed' (Hawthorne 177).

Hester's triumph is that her virtue ultimately transcends that of her overly rigid community. She seeks 'no selfish ends, nor lived in any measure for her own profit and enjoyment' (Hawthorne 177). She has become an embodiment of what the Puritan ideal aspires to become. Hawthorne indicates that Hester began to adopt a postion of a seer for Hester foretold that a better time was approaching. A 'new turth' was to be revealed when a new 'whole relation between man and woman' was to be established during a 'brighter time' (Hawthorne 177). Hawthorne indicates that this new relationship between men and women is more likely to be based upon 'mutual satisfaction' than what the Puritans offered to their believers (Hawthorne 177). Hester indicates that once she vainly saw herself as the 'destined prophetess' but that she came to see that the angel destined to lead mankind to loftier heights must be 'lofty, pure and beautiful' (Hawthorne 177). Here Hawthorne remains true to the rigid dichotomy imposed by Puritan belief which prefers to perceive the world as split between good and bad, polarized between right and wrong. Yet despite his own buired prejudices and his own deeply rooted desire that women be unsullied in their virtue, the depiction of Hester Prynne remains one of the most compelling portraits of a fallen woman w...

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Hawthorne & Kingston. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 04:00, August 20, 2017, from
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