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The Scarlet Letter

             Morality is a term that encompasses many different meanings. Some believe that being dutiful is moral, while others think that being honest is moral. According to Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, the definition of moral is "principles, standards, or habits with respect to right or wrong in conduct," ("moral"). Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes characterization techniques of morality throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter. The qualities that Hester Prynne possesses shape her as a character. Hawthorne represents Hester Prynne as having moral flaws, but in the end she is a good person. (Bloom 22). As Orson Scott Card remarks in Characters and Viewpoints, "The character story emerges when some part of a character's role in life becomes unbearable." (53). This is apparent in The Scarlet Letter because Hester's life becomes unbearable through her trials as a sinner in the Puritan society. Although the Puritan society believes that Hester Prynne is immoral, the actions that she takes shows that she is actually very moral.
             Hester shows care towards Pearl, her daughter, which is a clear indication of the kindness in Hester's heart. "When the young woman- the mother of this child- stood fully revealed before the crowd, it seemed to be her first impulse to clasp the infant closely to her bosom;" (Hawthorne 50). This is an act of motherly affection, showing that Hester loves her daughter. By abandoning Pearl, Hester's life would definitely be easier; however, she does not abandon Pearl, because Hester believes that it is morally wrong. Hester's decision regarding Pearl reveals her high moral principles as a Puritan. By upholding her morals, she keeps her daughter and moves to an isolated cottage away from society.
             After Hester moves away from the village, the Puritans give her the job of making fine clothing for the upper class. With any extra material that Hester has, she makes Pearl's clothes.

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