Conflict in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s the Scarlet Letter
dispute in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter Conflict can handle many forms in one’s life, such as dispute with self, with society, with religious beliefs and with others. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, establishes the theme of dispute through the moral sin of Hester Prynne. Dispute is observed through Hester’s problems with the townspeople, challenges with the Puritan way of life, struggles with herself and stress with Roger Chillingworth. Dedicating sin in the Puritan society causes a good deal of conflicts.
Dispute is very first observed through Hester’s ongoing problems with her fellow townspeople. Hester receives ridicule from on looking townspeople, as a gossiping female states,’ “At the very least, they need to have put the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne’s forehead”‘ (Hawthorne 45). This declaration exposes that the ladies believe Hester’s penalty is too easy and she needs to suffer more serious repercussions. The females do not see the moral action behind Hester’s sin, which initiates the conflict between the townspeople and Hester.
The dispute continues when Governor Bellingham faces Hester about being an unsuited parent as he mentions,’ “Were it not, thinkest thou, for thy child’s temporal and eternal welfare, that she be taken out of thy charge, and dressed soberly …”‘ (98 ). The Governor’s main issue has to do with what will benefit himself. This quality is observed in his unjust treatment of Hester. He takes advantage of her seamstress abilities, yet is judgmental about her parenting. This develops dispute for Hester as the Guv is unjust to her.
The issues that occur in between Hester and the townspeople are just the start of Hester’s battle with conflict. Conflict is seen as soon as again when Hester deals with the rigorous Puritan way of living. Hester’s punishment for her dedicated sin is exposed when it is stated, “In Hester Prynne’s circumstances, nevertheless, as not unfrequently in other cases, her sentence bore, that she ought to stand a specific time upon the platform …” (49 ). Although Hester has not done anything morally wrong, she is still penalized for her actions.
Hester faces conflict with Puritan society once again when she can not use her intricate seamstress abilities to make bride veils. Although Hester is extremely gifted she is limited from anything that would anger the Puritan society, which ends up being obvious when it is specified, “However it is not tape-recorded that, in a single circumstances, her skill was contacted aid to embroider the white veil which was to cover the pure blushes of a bride” (73 ). The ethical sin of Hester Prynne leads to contravene the Puritan lifestyle. Hester continues to deal with conflict, this time with herself.
When Hester faces the truth of the unpleasant scenario she is confronted with, her self conflict starts. Hester’s sensations are expressed when it is stated, “She clutched the kid so fiercely to her breast that it sent out forth a cry; she turned her eyes downward at the scarlet letter, and even touched it with her finger, to ensure herself the infant and the shame were genuine” (52 ). Dispute within Hester’s life continues in mothering her curious kid. Pearl’s interest is exposed when she asks,’ “… Mom dear, what does this scarlet letter indicate? and why dost thou use it on thy bosom?”‘ (161 ). Hester feels the obligation of safeguarding Pearl from knowing her mom’s wicked actions. The consistent questioning puts Hester in a contradictory position. Mothering Pearl causes dispute a second time when Pearl is considered an outcast from other kids. The kids simulate the adults by dealing with Pearl as the grownups deal with Hester. Although it is Pearl who is buffooned, Hester feels the constant battle being her mother. Although it appears that Hester’s major conflicts are with others, in truth numerous are within herself.
The style of dispute is apparent as it is represented in a range of scenarios in Hester’s life. Finally the style of dispute is established through Hester’s struggle with Roger Chillingworth. Chillingworth desires Hester’s fellow sinner to be revealed however Hester does not want to expose his identity. Chillingworth’s interest is observed when he specifies,’ “Would it be beyond a thinker’s research study, believe ye, gentlemen, to analyze that child’s nature, and from its make and mould, to provide a shrewd guess at the father?”‘ (103 ).
His curiousness creates tension between himself and Hester which magnifies Hester’s conflict with Chillingworth. The continuous dispute continues when Hester chooses to go back to England. She is notified by a shipmaster that Roger Chillingworth has chosen to travel with her. The shipmaster states,’ “Ay, ay, you need to have understood it; for he informs me he is of your celebration and a close friend to the gentleman you spoke of …”‘ (214 ). Although Hester wishes not to connect with Roger Chillingworth, he continuously torments her, again producing conflict in Hester’s life.
Hester’s attempt to escape from the battles within her life establishes another conflict, highlighting the style of conflict. Hester Prynne’s moral sin starts conflict within her life. Hester’s troubles with the townspeople, with the Puritan religion, with herself and with Roger Chillingworth all help in highlighting the theme of dispute. Although Hester is at first deemed a symbol of pity, she returns to the place of her sin as a changed individual as Telgen states, “Rather of being a figure of scorn and pity, she becomes a valued counselor in the neighborhood, fixing conflict, as opposed to representing it” (Telgen 319).
Conflict in Hester’s life, and her committed sin highlighted strength and nerve in her as she might end up being a wise advisor. Hester’s change proves that throughout life ongoing conflicts can reverse for the much better. Functions Cited Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1999. “The Scarlet Letter.” Novels for Students. Ed. Diane Telgen. Vol. 1. Detroit: Wind, 1997. 319.