The implication that men do not possess similar qualities of strength and enormity might be implied by Damselfly’s choice of diction in this reference, but it is, also, important to recognize, that Timescale loves Hester, and that he recognizes his own lack of strength and compassion (and that of Chlorinating, as well). While David S. Reynolds
Honoree shows Hester reputation change over the course of the novel, stating,” Many people refused to interpret the Scarlet A y Its original signification. They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Preen, with a woman’s strength… ” (Hawthorne 134). Reynolds argues that women are more complex than simply good or evil and, Hawthorn?s text supports the idea of dichotomy between Hester roles from a fallen women to a heroine.
Despite the fact that Hester is the one being punished for adultery, she is much more sympathetic and admirable than her minister lover. Reynolds explicates Hester role by saying, She is the feminist criminal bound in an ‘iron link of mutual crime’ with a man whose feebleness wrought most Of the novel is contrasted with her indomitable firmness” (Reynolds 45). Reynolds sees Hester as far stronger than Timescale. While Hawthorne describes her as having a “woman’s strength,” Reynolds suggests that Hester is as strong as any of the men in her society.
In Adhesive’s article, Hawthorne is characterized as rendering Hester not as a symbol of strength under duress, but rather as a cog in the wheel of a society that punishes her for her own good, in the eyes of God. “Hester accepts her womanly role, which according to Hawthorne, is essential if a woman is to be paved (By God)” (Desalts 1 19). Desalts explains how Hawthorne makes Hester responsible for both Damselfly’s suffering and the change in Clownishness’s character from an “earnest, studious, thoughtful” (Hawthorne 142) man to the “fiend” (Hawthorne 142) that he becomes.
Desalts uses textual evidence of Hester accepting the responsibility for their immoralities to help further prove this point. “When [asked] who is responsible, [Hester] says ‘It was myself Thus Hester, the person with the least amount of real power in the novel is made, symbolically, the person with the most power, ND the most responsibility (Disease 1 16). While Desalts accurately depicts Hester as accepting the fact that she is being discriminated against in her own society, Desalts fails to adequately underscore Hester will and determination.
Hester plays a larger role than that of a helpless woman, particularly when viewed in the light of what she accomplishes against great odds: maintaining her dignity; raising her child on her own; and protecting the reputation of Timescale. One cannot accurately address the subject of Hester characterization without emphasizing her strength and generosity in the face of the social consisting of women in Puritan times.