Hester is the main character is this novel. She is a striking woman
whose husband is presumed lost at sea.
She has a sinful relationship with the town’s Minister, but this remains a secret to the end of the book. However, her adultery is plain because she has a child, Pearl, and she remains an outcast from society throughout the whole book. She is condemned to wear a badge of shame in the form of a letter ‘A’ so that all will know that she is a fallen woman.
Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale
Dimmesdale is the unmarried Minister of Hester’s congregation and the father
of her daughter, Pearl.
He is greatly admired by his parishioners and enjoys almost saint-like status in the community. He has suppressed his sin and this leads to his deteriorating health, and his eventual downfall.
She is the illegitimate daughter of Hester and Dimmesdale and is a constant
reminder of Hester’s sin, as much a symbol as the letter ‘A’. She is a willful child and Hester has great difficulty in controlling her. She is only at peace when playing in the wilderness.
This is the pseudonym assumed by Hester’s husband.
He is a well-educated man and becomes the symbol of evil in the story. He is consumed with revenge over the wrong he has suffered in losing his wife.
She is an authentic historical figure who was executed for witchcraft in
1656. She is the sister of Governor Bellingham who was elected Governor on three occasions. Mistress Hibbins is an intuitive person and recognizes the sin of both Hester and Dimmesdale.
Reverend John Wilson
This is another historical figure that is the symbol of religious authority, which with the Governor
makes up the hierarchy of the Puritan society.