The Herring Net and The Scarlet Letter

winslow homer

Winslow Homer painted this painting, The Herring Net, in 1890. It depicts two fishermen fighting to catch their fish and stay afloat during a storm. The mood in this painting is hopeful and determined in spite of chaos and hardship. The fishermen must continue to work even when the weather makes it nearly impossible. The mood in this painting reminds me of the mood in The Scarlet Letter, especially surrounding Hester’s situation. Even when the townspeople shame Hester and alienate her entirely, she perseveres as she continues to live her life and complete mundane activities. Eventually, just as the fishermen catch the herring, Hester is able to find satisfaction in her life when she is able to help people.

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