Scarlet Letter And Human Frailty The Letter and Human Frailty Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of The Scarlet Letter, tells a tale of human frailty and sorrow through each and every character.
When you first meet Hester Prynne, the main character, she seems quite innocent. Only guilty of not naming her lover. Yet she is treated like an evil demon by the Puritan community of the 1700s because she broke the seventh commandment The way they yelled “at the very least, they should have put the brand of hot iron on Hester Prynne.
” (Hawthorne 69) this is a perfect example of how the behavior of the characters tells a story of human frailty and sorrow. Hester took great pride in everything she did from the letter A on her chest to the baby Pearl in her arms.It was the pride of Hester Prynne that forced her to wear the Scarlet letter to her death. “At the final hour, when she was so soon to fling aside the burning letter, it had strangely become the centre of more remark and excitement, and was thus made to sear her breast more painfully, than at any time since the first day she put it on.” (Hawthorne 242) Roger Chillingworth, Hesters husband, was a very old and educated man that Hester didnt love. Chillingworth was the most selfish in the story, he married Hester without Hesters love in return and this was one of the sins that refers to Hawthornes “human frailty” . (Hawthorne 46) Poor Rogers sins are clearly defined .
.”And it seemed a fouler offense committed by Roger Chillingworth than any which had since been done him, that, in the time when her heart knew no better, he had persuaded her to fancy herself happy by his side.” (Hawthorne 172) Chillingworths attacks on Dimmesdale were to make Dimmesdale weak and when he saw Dimmesdales Scarlet letter on his chest he laughed instead if feeling for the poor desperate man. Chillingworth was the sinner that goes with human frailty. Dimmesdale, perhaps the most complex character in the book, is damned with the guilt of his sin “burn[ing] in secret” (Hawthorne), and damned by his desire for Hester Prynne.Dimmesdales status as a minister made the guilt so bad it was making him sick. He needed to be open and reveal his dark secret. Dimmesdale keeping this sin hidden was his real sin itself, by far worse than Hesters.
Everyone could plainly see what Hester had done because of the scarlet letter A on her chest, but Dimmesdale on the other hand has kept his sin under his clothes and it was literally killing him. In conclusion Dimmesdale, Chillingworth, and Hester were all sinners, some sins worse than others.During this time period these sins were unheard of, that is why they were treated the way they were. These characters were a perfect example of “human frailty and sorrow”. Hester dying wearing the scarlet letter is the darkening close.