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The Scarlet Letter Review
on August 12, 2012
The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a story that takes place in the Boston, Massachusetts in the seventeenth century in a Puritan settlement. The story starts off with a young woman by the name of Hester Prynne being lead from the town prison with scarlet colored embroidery A on her chest and a newborn baby to the center of the town to be judged and scolded by the town's ministers. Hester had been sent to Boston by her husband whom she was to later meet up with however her husband never arrived with many thinking that he was lost at sea. During the time that Hester was waiting on her husband she met someone, had an affair and now had a baby out of wedlock and she was being punished for adultery. Hester's punishment was to wear the scarlet A and public shaming because she refused to tell the identity of her child's father.
When Hester was taking the shameful walk to the center of the town an elderly man by the name of Roger Chillingsworth wanted to know what the young lady was in trouble for and one of the crowd bystanders told him that it was for adultery. Soon it is revealed that Roger Chillingsworth is the husband of Hester Prynne that everyone thought was lost out to sea. Roger Chillingsworth was now in Boston practicing medicine and set on getting revenge on his wife. Roger then revealed his true identity to his wife Hester however he makes her swear to secrecy and not tell his true identity.
The puritan community tried to take Hester's daughter Pearl but with the help of a young minister by the name of Arthur Dimmesdale Hester is able to keep her daughter and live on the outskirts of town. Arthur Dimmesdale however had suddenly come down with a heart problems and health was steadily declining. Chillingworth moves in the Dimmesdale so that he can provide around the clock care for his patient while at the same time trying to see what information he could get from out the minister because he had suspicions about the minister and Hester.
One Night when Hester and her daughter Pearl were returning home the found Arthur Dimmesdale standing on the scaffold in the center of the town trying to punish himself. Pearl, Hester and Arthur held hands and during this time of the story we find out that Arthur is the father of pearl. Pearl asked her father to publicly acknowledge her and when he refused a dull red A light up the night sky. Hester then asked Chillingsworth to stop adding to Dimmesdale torment that he was taking himself through and Chillingsworth so filled with anger and revenge refuses to. Hester planned a meeting with Dimmesdale in the forest because she figured that Chillingsworth knew she was going to tell Dimmesdale that Chilllingsworth really was her husband. They planned to go to settle in Europe and raise their daughter Pearl there and live as a family. They were supposed to leave in four days and the day before they were supposed to leave Dimmesdale delivered his best sermon and Hester found out that Chillingsworth had found out about their plans and had bought a ticket on the same boat to follow them to Europe.
After leaving the sermon the minister saw Pearl and Hester standing on the scaffold in town so he went up there and joined them revealing a red A on his chest and publicly announced that he was Pearl's father. Then Arthur falls dead after Pearl kissed him. Chillingsworth was so angry with revenge that he died a year later. Pearl and Hester left Boston and many years later Hester returned alone to live in her little cottage on the outskirts of town still wearing her scarlet A. When she died she was buried next to Dimmesdale and they shared one headstone that had just a scarlet A on it.