Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter puts emphasis on the dramatic literary theme of following one’s heart, despite society’s expectations.It is with this theme that Hawthorne explores deeply the perception of human nature.His main exploration is sought through the main character, Hester Prynne.Hester chose to follow her own heart instead of sticking to the boundaries of Puritan society.In time, she gained a better understanding of humanity and more importantly herself, even though it brought upon her and others shame, guilt, and miserableness.
The conflict resulting from Hester’s prominent decision to commit adultery can easily be considered by some people as unbearable.Branded by the letter “A,” shame was the byproduct of every person’s stare at the scarlet letter.People wanted nothing to do with Hester Prynne.In a Puritan society, “a people amongst whom religion and law were almost identical,” unfortunately, a sinful passion does not reign over the laws of religion.
Hester’s sin also left its mark with the conception of a child, Pearl.Hester and Pearl became the shame of the community through the mark of the scarlet letter.It is with this basis that the conflict between Hester and the rest of the society can be described.Although Hester’s commitment of adultery was with love and passion, it did not stand well in the Puritan world; however, through these experiences, Hester was able to learn about the world in which she lived.It is easy to discuss the many effects on Hester Prynne made by the scarlet letter’s conflicts, but the greatest effect was what Hester learned about humanity.
People suffer tragedies, but in doing so, they gain a better understanding of other people’s tragedies.Hester’s tragedy was her punishment after committing adultery.Initially, Hester could not stand the shame and discomfort that was dealt to her, but she was soon able to overcome the vibe of the situation and soon was able to begin her years-long journey with the scarlet letter.What’s impressive is that she was able to do it with pride and honesty.It began to teach her things and give her strength as a person.
This strength was needed with her dealings with all the encounters with people who saw the letter, “A.”Hester realized that many people had hidden sins, and she was able to sympathize for these people.This is her better understanding of other people’s tragedies; however, she thought of it as an awful sense. “In all her miserable experience, there was nothing else so awful and so loathsome as this sense.”This is not the type of feeling most people would want for the rest of their lives.This is exactly what Hester had to deal with.Shame, guilt, and miserableness are one way of describing the result of the scarlet.