Ap Prep english 10
4 November 2013
Deception, a quick breath, a savvy tongue, the need to save a person’s feelings; or it is used in anger to hurt someone. Any one person can deceive another successfully with little effort, but will always bear a lurking shadow which will eventually find light. Physically, mentally, and spiritually, it will return and it will have effect. The pain of consequence may not always be what another inflicts unto you so as much as the mental torture you ultimately cause yourself. The suffering that tests Hester is not caused by those who surround her, but an internal guilt and pain. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne guides us through the physical, mental and spiritual progression of a rational mind exposed to an irrational life proving that deception leads only to pain and regret.
The Scarlet Letter not only marks Hester’s clothing, it bores through to her core and surfaces even in her physical appearance. As her mind is broken, so too is her beauty. Hester Prynne emerges from the prison door a strong, confident woman, but slowly, her gleaming smile fades away as she realizes her hideous present position of shame and ostracism. The sunshine that once shone on this woman ran and hid, leaving only a ghost of herself, where an extravagant being once stood in her place, “She took up the scarlet letter, and fastened it again to her bosom… her beauty, the warmth and richness of her womanhood, departed, like fading sunshine; and a grey shadow seemed to fall across her” (186). After bearing the scarlet letter, Hester’s body goes through a physical transformation. Her face becomes dull and lifeless; her skin loses the vibrant glow that once projected onto the world around her. Her confident smile, the reassurance her face once offered all, weathers as her anguish grows. Her exterior eventually matches her twisted, tormented,…