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Minor Characters Verses Major Characters In The Scarlet Letter

            Minor Characters Verses Major Characters.
             The minor characters of Governor Bellingham, Mistress Hibbins, and Pearl in The .
             Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne play significant roles to the overall theme .
             of the novel. These characters produce themes, and play important roles. Although they .
             are minor characters, they are significant to the major characters and most importantly to .
             the novel. .
             The political figure Richard Bellingham is identified as the governor of the .
             Massachusetts colony (Bayum 16). Bellingham governed the puritan colony by the bible, a .
             source of spiritual and ethical standards. His outward display of gentility but inner .
             puritanical intolerance is a force of persecution to characters in the novel. Yet, the .
             characters listen, respond to him respectfully. Not only do they respond respectfully but .
             they respond to him with the sympathy that he alone seems to be able to draw from them. .
             In The Scarlet Letter Governor Bellingham witnesses Hester Prynne's punishment and is a .
             symbol of civil authority (Doren 89, 106).
             Mistress Hibbins, a historical figure, Ann Hibbins sister of Governor Bellingham, .
             was executed for witchcraft in 1656. In the novel, Hibbins has insight into the sins of both .
             Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale, and is a symbol of super or preternatural .
             knowledge and evil powers (Kaul 101). The name Mistress Hibbins is mentioned in .
             Hawthorne's novel before any of the major characters; and at four critical moments she .
             appears to be on the scene. On her first appearance, she pleads with Hester to come with .
             her to the forest and sign her name in the Black Man's book; on her second, she peers .
             from her window into the darkness where the minister stands alone on the scaffold and .
             Rothe 2.
             cries out in anguish; on her third, she hauls the minister as a fellow-communicant of Satan .
             after he has met Hester in the forest and agreed to run off. The fourth scene is the .

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