One Love, One Heart


In the recent documentary, Bowling for Columbine, Matt Stone, the co-creator of South Park, said that it is a universally believed truth about school that if you don’t succeed, you will be a failure for life. If you don’t do well on your tests, you’ll never make it to honors, you’ll never go to a good college and you’ll be “poor and lonely for the rest of your life.” If you are a loser in high school you will be and feel like a loser your whole life. That is anything but the truth, but it is what is in the psyche of most high-schoolers in the country. Usually cast-aways in high school, who are bullied, put down and isolated by their peers become shy, depressed, lonely or quiet because they feel that what ever they do will be made fun of. This peer-isolation turns to self-isolation and is a common occurrence in many versions of isolation. Back in the 1600s, when everyone was serious about being a boring, austere, sinless Puritan, the slightest sin could cause emotional rejection from the society. In the Scarlet Letter, Nathanial Hawthorne describes how Hester Prynne, a young wife in America, separated from her husband in England, is shun from her society and ridiculed by her peers for committing one of the worst sins, adultery. Forced to wear a scarlet letter on her chest and carry around Pearl, her new baby, Hester is constantly remind of her mistake and Puritan society’s disapproval of it. Hester, a generally caring and unselfish person, was an independent, brazen young woman but from the effects of her sin, the guilt and all other consequences, she grew to be a isolated, toned-down, empty figure and was done with her wild ways.


Despite any changes throughout the seven years, Hester was always a giving person and never put herself in front of others. Right after the letter was put on her, she moved to the cottage by the sea, which was nothing similar to a mansion. She “bestowed all her superfluous means in charity, on wretches less miserable than herself, and who not infrequently insulted the hand that fed him" (57). This is something very similar to what Mother Theresa would do. Hester was always very involved in helping her community and eventually was looked at by the people of the community as the letter A representing "Able" (111). Even though the whole community rejected her, she did more than she had to, to give back to them. Hester aided Dimmesdale through his whole torture of secret sin because she knew that it was partially her fault. She helped him be locked into his position of always not being able to confess and being driven crazy by it. "Knowing what this poor fallen man had once been, her whole soul was moved by the shuddering terror with which he had appealed to her—the outcast woman—for support against his instinctively discovered enemy. She decided, moreover, that he had a right to her utmost aid" (109). She offered him moral and emotional support during their challenge, especially in the forest scene when Dimmesdale was finally able to feel some relief. After all was said and done, after Dimmesdale and Chillingworth had died, and Hester moved back into her cottage alone, she still offered support to the community. She served her wisdom out to anyone who needed it, mostly the young women of the town. "As Hester Prynne had no selfish ends, nor lived in any measure for her own profit and enjoyment, people brought all their sorrows and perplexities, and besought her counsel, as one who had herself gone through a mighty trouble… Hester comforted and counseled them, as best she might. She assured them, too, of her firm belief that, at some brighter period, when the world should have grown ripe for it, in Heaven's own time, a new truth would be revealed, in order to establish the whole relation between man and woman on a surer ground of mutual happiness" (180). Hester, throughout these seven plus years, no matter what the circumstance, always offered help to those in need of it.


As a young woman, before any of this burden was placed on her, Hester was somewhat of a defiant