What is Hawthorne's attitude toward Hester?

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hawthorne seems to use the plot and symbols to develop sympathy for Hester. Readers feel bad for her in almost every way. This poor girl came to America and her husband to whom she belonged was older and not with her. The poor girl must have felt abandoned. By the time she has waited and waited and probably assumed that he is dead, she begins a new relationship with an incredible man, a pastor no less, but she can't have her love with him because it is forbidden. Readers watch Hester try to raise the delinquent Pearl and feel sorry for her struggle. By the end, readers are starting to see the society value Hester as they turn the term of the Scalet Letter from Adulterer to Angel. For Hawthorne to position readers to feel this way he must have had a significant empathy for the Puritan woman. He must have wanted to present women in a new light to a generation later. He must have wanted to use the circumstances to portray that he disagreed with the position of his father who participated in the real Salem Witch Trials. Hawthorne felt sorry for Hester for being accused of something that wasn't her fault.

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The Scarlet Letter

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