In the character Hester Prynne. It also shows

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, the human virtue of perseverance is displayed through the character Hester Prynne. It also shows the weakness of shame. Shame can completely destroy a person and someone’s relationships with people. It can warp one’s personality into something very different or into nothing at all. Arthur Dimmesdale’s character shows what terrible effects shame can have on a person. Perseverance is a very strong and powerful attribute to a person because of the effect it can have on a person and the people around them. Hester Prynne is a woman in a Puritan village who has an affair and gets pregnant. She is essentially disowned by her entire village because of the sins she committed. Hester battles the hardship of being alone with her perseverance. She was in “Despair! Solitude! These had been her teachers-stern and wild ones-and they had made her strong” (155). Her recovery is astonishing because the shame she had forced upon herself by her community, but also onto herself. Hester leads herself and Pearl through solitude and doesn’t let Pearl realize this. Hester uses her talents as a seamstress to raise Pearl comfortably and ensure that they both had what they needed to survive. She puts her shame and embarrassment aside and she finds a way not to starve. Hester occupies herself with her work rather than with thoughts of her mistakes by getting the “fairly requited employment” of embroidery (35). Hester was able to be productive among taking care of herself and Pearl. Hester also makes certain that Pearl is a good child. She doesn’t want Pearl to make the same mistakes that she did and to feel the shame that Hester feels. Hester takes full responsibility for Pearl and the fact that society views her daughter as a sin. She loves Pearl and will not give her up even though it might be the easier alternative. Hester proves she is willing to fight for her daughter when she says, “I will not give her up!” and shows the passion and love she has for Pearl (65). Hester also puts a lot of shame and hatred on herself as well as taking shame from her community. She is in a “torture…a pang, a sting, and ever-recurring agony” because of her dilemma, yet she is also “in the midst of a troubled joy” because of the child (65). Hester continues fighting for Pearl because she feels obligated, even if it becomes hard at times. This shows just how perseverant and strong Hester is and will later instill in Pearl. Shame is also a frequently mentioned concept in this novel. Hester is in a lot of shame and experiences this daily both from her society and from within herself. She doesn’t leave her village because of the shame that she feels. She says she must stay because “here, she said to herself, had been the scene of her guilt,and here should be the scene of her earthly punishment” (33). She tortures herself because of the guilt and shame that she feels. Dimmesdale, Pearl’s illegitimate father and the reverend of the town, begins to change because shame haunts him. Hester even begins to notice how much he’s changed. His miserable attitude can be displayed as we come to understand that he seeks out help from an adulterer. Hester is shocked by this but understands that she is the only one that knows how to help him with this. She is scared though because of “her long seclusion from society” but wants to help him because she feels obligated (111). She also finds comfort and responsibility in the fact that he’s asking for help. Hester finds it almost strange the “iron link of mutual crime, which is neither he nor she could break” so she helps him (111). We see that Dimmesdale hates what he did with Hester, but he hides his sin and beats himself because of it. He has a mark like Hester’s that shows his sin but society doesn’t put it there like the letter. Dimmesdale begins as a weak man who is hypocritical so shame just eats away at him until he dies at the very end of the story. However, he eventually gets inner peace but it’s a little too late because they’re his last words. He says “God knows; and He is made merciful” while he is dying moments before his demise (211). This novel has very valuable lessons in it that still resonate today. Today someone won’t be outcast because they had a child out of wedlock, but people still face hardships that force them to persevere and consequences that cause them shame.