Anna Karenina and Hester Prynne

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Michelle Ruiz

English 12 IB

Anna Karenina and Hester Prynne

A tragic hero is the main character that posses a tragic flaw that causes his or her downfall. In addition, the tragic hero develops specific characteristics, where the reader should feel pity for the hero as they see his or her successive tragedy. In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the character Hester Prynne is view as a tragic heroine. Hester Prynne commits adultery and under Puritan laws, she has to wear a symbol for the rest of her life. Under her punishment, Hester Prynne suffers from the consequences of her sin and develops a tragic flaw that contributes to her downfall. In Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, the main character Anna Arkadyevna Karenina is also seen as a tragic heroine. Anna Karenina, a beautiful and elegant housewife falls in love with Count Vronsky. The adulterous relationship disturbs the position in society of Anna Karenina and Vronsky. Anna Karenina’s tragedy or downfall is produce by her distinct and powerful selfishness. Evidently, these characters, as tragic heroines prove to have strong individualism and extremism; by displaying a strong determination, intelligence and sensitivity; by helping others in their own way and living isolated from society.    

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        Hester Prynne demonstrates her transcendence in the first Scaffold scene. At the scene Hester shows remarkable bravery and determination by refusing to reveal the name of her child’s father; Dimmesdale. As well as Karenina, her decisions and actions are seen as an unethical and highly immoral by society. However, regardless of the reaction of her surroundings, Hester keeps a solid position and even refuses to save herself from her sin. Hester’s strong determination and enigmatic attitude saves Dimmesdale from his mundane activity. This scene is the start of Hester’s tragedy and exemplifies her individualism and extremism.

        Anna ...

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