Hester Prynne - The First Female Protagonist in American Literature

The character of Hester Prynne

The character of Hester Prynne is described as a woman condemned by her Puritan neighbors and described as the first female protagonist in American literature. In 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter reveals the life of the titular character. In the novel, she is the victim of sexual harassment, exploitation, and imprisonment. She is a renowned author, and her novel has been called one of America's greatest works of literature.

Character traits

Hester Prynne is a great heroine because she demonstrates many of the important traits of a good human being. Despite her sins, she never complains, resists punishment, and is a very strong character. She resists punishment by restraining herself and holding her head high while standing on a scaffold. In fact, she grew to be proud of her punishment. The novel's author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, describes Hester as "feisty, independent, and ladylike" on page 51.


The novel begins with Hester Prynne in a solitary environment outside of Boston. She has been shunned and hated by the Puritans for years. She is a mother of a baby girl named Pearl, and she longs to give her daughter the best upbringing possible. Pearl is the only thing keeping Hester from killing herself, but she still cares deeply about her.


In the first part of Hester Prynne's misadventures, she seeks to become an independent woman. The story is a journey toward psychological, sexual, and economic freedom. Although there are very few self-reliant women in our society, we have a deep sense of sacrifice that does not require men to validate our actions. Unfortunately, our society is based on an amoral code of behavior. Our society is prone to gross misconceptions that lead us to shallow appreciation of others.

Final meaning

The final meaning of Hester Prynne is to re-establish the freedom of the intellect and join the spirit of emancipated society. Hester's freedom is to re-construct society in a more just way. But it is also a freedom to become an abstracted intellect. Hence the title of this essay. But what is this freedom and how does it influence society?


One of the most important things that Hester does for her daughter, Pearl, is to raise her. Despite the many punishments she has to endure, she is determined to raise her daughter in the best way possible. Her strength is reflected in the way she takes care of Pearl. Pearl is her most prized possession, so Hester must always be a strong figure for her. Here are some of her qualities:


Although a woman of strong character and principles, Hester Prynne has her weaknesses. While society is trying to hold her to its will, she refuses to give in. Her only weakness is that she commits the passionate sin of adultery. Nonetheless, this does not stop her from trying her best. In the end, she succeeds in changing her life and overcoming her weaknesses. Despite her flaws, Hester proves that women can be strong and change for the better.


The Symbolism of Hester Pryncenne can be deciphered by considering her use of needle work. She uses her needle work skills to express her independence, which indicates her defiant spirit. This independence is also evident in her "haughty smile" when she is on the scaffold. She also uses her needle work skills to create an ornament with the letter "A" embroidered on it.

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