This essay will provide one how Hawthorne demonstrates his belief on human nature using examples from his novel.As The Scarlet Letter progresses protagonist, Hester Prynne, who develops from a character who is practically exiled from reality to a significant symbol of her community.
“It is to the credit of human nature, that, except where its selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates.
Hatred, by a gradual and quiet process, will even be transformed to love, unless the change be impeded by a continually new irritation of the original feeling of hostility.” One of the most important themes in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is his intellectual way of examining human nature.
He views Puritan society as altering human nature; human nature loves and forgives, Puritan society leaves no room for forgiveness and emphasizes that of selfishness and hatred.
In this type of culture there is no place for questioning or challenging what is wrong or right.
Hawthorne appears to be observing that humans as individuals are good and loving instead of hateful and evil.
However, when one is left to fight for them self the positive behaviors are generally substituted by hatred and ones ego.The ego that the community faces is the fear what others think of them and how they might act towards someone who is candidly welcoming to Hester.Hester has to face the selfishness of another character and from that she endured a great deal of struggle.It shows the writer's high opinion of women and his sympathy with the female at a time when women were maltreated and marginalized.It also reflects his condemnation of the restrictions of the Puritan society.The ego comes into play by the societies actions towards Hester; she is now trapped with selfishness of human nature.Even though she is allowed in people’s homes and appreciated by the families inside, she is greatly avoided and hated on the street.To begin the novel, Hester Prynne is released from prison on account of being guilty of adultery.She has made a scarlet letter A and wears this on her chest as a sign for her sins and as a way to try to gain forgiveness from god.Hawthorne gives the impression that the Puritan society is that it doesn’t fit human nature because of not allowing forgiveness which is stated within the bible.The quotation used above conveys a particularly optimistic belief on human nature in such a novel which is full of punishment, guilt and justice.