Minor Characters Verses Major Characters In The Scarlet Lett

Minor Characters Verses Major Characters In The Scarlet Letter

Minor Characters Verses Major Characters

The minor characters of Governor Bellingham, Mistress Hibbins, and Pearl in The

Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne play significant roles to the overall theme

of the novel. These characters produce themes, and play important roles. Although they

are minor characters, they are significant to the major characters and most importantly to

the novel.

The political figure Richard Bellingham is identified as the governor of the

Massachusetts colony (Bayum 16). Bellingham governed the puritan colony by the bible, a

source of spiritual and ethical standards. His outward display of gentility but inner

puritanical intolerance is a force of persecution to characters in the novel. Yet, the

characters listen, respond to him respectfully. Not only do they respond respectfully but

they respond to him with the sympathy that he alone seems to be able to draw from them.

In The Scarlet Letter Governor Bellingham witnesses Hester Prynne?s punishment and is a

symbol of civil authority (Doren 89, 106).

Mistress Hibbins, a historical figure, Ann Hibbins sister of Governor Bellingham,

was executed for witchcraft in 1656. In the novel, Hibbins has insight into the sins of both

Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale, and is a

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