Teenage parents Teenage parents rarely live life to its fullest and find themselves outcasts from society. Hester Prynne, in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, finds herself ostracized from the rest of society when she becomes impregnated by an anonymous man who turns out to be the beloved Reverend Dimmesdale. She lives a hard life and is forced to raise her child on her own while facing the scrutiny of others, much like today's teenage parents. Because of these similarities, The Scarlet Letter is relevant to today's teenage parents.
Hester Prynne, like many teenage parents, finds herself cast aside from society and is forced to raise her child without the help of the father or society itself. The Puritan society of that day looks down upon Hester as though she is foreign and does not belong to their society. Although nowadays teenage parents receive some help from their relatives and friends, the rest of society still looks upon them as foreign. "Every gesture, every word, and even the silence of those with whom she came in contact, implied, and often expressed, that she was banished, and as much alone as if she inhabited another sphere." Hester feels like a stranger in her own land. Many teenagers feel that other people do not understand what they are going through, and they cannot communicate with them, much like Hester feels like she "communicated with the common nature by other organs and senses than the rest of human kind." Pearl, like all children of teenage parents, acts as a daily reminder of the mistake they have made. "She is my happiness! She is my torture, none the less! Pearl keeps me here in life! Pearl punishes me, too! See ye not, she is the scarlet letter, only capable of being loved, and so endowed with a million-fold the power of retribution for my sin" Most teenage parents feel this way, too.
They feel the pain they have to go through bringing up the child, and they also know, lik Hester, that their children are their punishment for the mistake or sin. Even though they go through all of this, many teenage parents would not give up their child for anything. Bringing up a child of their own brings them joy as well as pain. Hester knows this and experiences it, also. Teenage parents are forced to fight through the pains of bringing up a child in hard times.
Sometimes they become successful at a trade and are forced to fall back upon that trade to survive. They also use these trades as a way to fight back into society. "By degrees, nor very slowly, her handiwork became what would now be termed the fashion. It is certain that she had ready and fairly requited employment for as many hours as she saw fit to occupy with her needle." Hester is a very good seamstress and uses that skill to make enough money to live as well as to begin to try to fit back into society. Many teenage parents who work find relief in their job as a way to escape the daily pain and hell they go through the rest of the day. Teenage parents go through many hardships and have a hard time fitting back into society, much like Hester does with the Puritans.
Teenage parents still face all of the scrutiny and hardships forced on them from the rest of society which sees them as outcasts and ostracizes them.